HOUSTON, TEXAS (June 5, 2015) – The New York Red Bulls fell to the Houston Dynamo, 4-2, on Friday night at BBVA Compass Stadium. Two Dynamo goals in a four minute span made the difference, as New York took a first-half lead on a Mike Grella goal but were unable to hold on as the Dynamo struck four times in the second half. Red Bulls forward Anatole Abang scored his first MLS goal just before full-time.
With the loss, the Red Bulls move to 4-4-5 on the season, and 1-3-3 on the road.
Grella opened the scoring just before half time. The Long Island native received the ball on the left side from Wright-Phillips, cut back into space and fired a shot past Dynamo goalkeeper Tyler Deric in the 41st minute for his third goal of the season. Wright-Phillips earned his team-leading fourth assist on the play.
The goal came slightly against the run of play, with the Dynamo owning more than 60% of the possession in the first half. Houston also had nine shots in the opening period, but put only one on target – a drive from Alexander Lopez that was parried away by Luis Robles in the 39th minute.
In the 8th minute Red Bulls forward Bradley Wright-Phillips had a golden chance to put the visitors ahead, getting on the end of a long outlet pass from midfielder Felipe and putting his first touch through the legs of Deric, but his attempt was cleared before it reached the goal line by center back David Horst.
New York was knocking again in the 37th minute, when right back Chris Duvall got free down the right side off of a quick restart and flashed a pass across the six yard box. The ball took a slight deflection off of a Houston defender and eluded Wright-Phillips in front of goal.
The Houston answer came in the 59th minute, when Boniek Garcia received the ball inside the box and took a shot that deflected off of Red Bulls center back Karl Ouimette and looped high over the head of Robles into the net.
The Dynamo picked up momentum with the goal and charged down against just a minute later, but a centering pass was broken up by Roy Miller, who made a second start at center back with Damien Perrinelle suspended on yellow card accumulation.
Houston then had an apparent go-ahead goal called back in the 68th minute, when a Ricardo Clark header off of a corner kick was disallowed after it was deemed that Clark pushed off his marker.
Clark did find the back of the net, in legal fashion, off of another corner minutes later, getting free at the back post again and taking a first-time volley back across goal to put the Dynamo ahead in the 72nd minute.
Will Bruin took advantage of the Red Bulls’ attempts to equalize and stretched Houston’s lead in the 80th minute, cutting across the top of the box and firing a shot back towards the near post to put the Dynamo up 3-1.
Second-half sub Abang got on the end of a short cross from fellow Cameroonian Marius Obekop in the 90th minute for his first career goal to give New York a chance with three minutes of stoppage time to play. It was also the first assist for Obekop, who made his 2015 debut as a substitute.
With the Red Bulls again pressing for an equalizer, Bruin scored his second of the game on a counter just before the end of stoppage time to round out the scoring.
Deric was only credited with two saves, but each came in spectacular fashion to keep the Dynamo in the contest. The first came in first half stoppage time, when the Texas native made a diving save on a Sacha Kljestan free kick from 20 yards out.
Lloyd Sam had a chance to put New York up 2-0 in the 56th minute with a curling shot from the top of the penalty area, but his attempt was pushed away from the top-right corner by Deric.
Houston held a slight edge in possession, with just over 52% for the match, and also held an advantage in shots, 6-5.
After a bye next weekend, the Red Bulls are home for three straight – hosting a fourth-round game in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup against the Atlanta Silverbacks (NASL) on Tuesday, June 16 at 7:30 p.m. before returning to league action with Vancouver on June 20 and Real Salt Lake on June 24.