HARRISON, N.J. – It took the New York Red Bulls a little longer than they would have liked, but their offense exploded and they picked up three points that kept them above the red line in the Eastern Conference playoff race.
Thierry Henry and Bradley Wright-Phillips scored second-half braces that helped New York erase a one-goal deficit in a 4-2 victory over the Montreal Impact on Saturday night. The match saw Wright-Phillips break the Red Bulls’ record for most goals in a season with 20, bettering Juan Pablo Angel’s 19-goal haul from 2007.
Looking nothing like a team that played on Wednesday, the Impact came out looking energetic in the first half before falling apart in the second stanza.
Dilly Duka, a New Jersey native, opened the scoring with a 37th-minute strike to the near post that stunned the 17,891 fans at Red Bull Arena. Duka beat Luis Robles low to the near post after a perfect, defense-splitting ball into space from Calum Mallace.
Henry started the Red Bulls’ second straight comeback at home in the 53rd minute, diving to head a cross from Eric Alexander inside the far post. The Red Bulls captain then put his team ahead in the 67th, firing a perfect shot that kissed the right post and went in.
Henry turned from scorer to provider, assisting on Wright-Phillips’ 19th goal of the season in the 74th minute. Montreal made it close again five minutes later with a stunning individual effort from Andres Romero, but Wright-Phillips put the match away with his second in the 90th, slotting home a pass from Peguy Luyindula.
The result pushed Mike Petke’s side back to .500 at 7-7-10, keeping them in fifth place in the East. The struggling Impact dropped to 4-15-5, dead last in the conference and the league.
The Red Bulls face a short turnaround, hosting their CONCACAF Champions League opener against CD FAS on Tuesday before traveling to take on rivals D.C. United next Sunday. The Impact, meanwhile, host the Columbus Crew at Stade Saputo on Saturday