By DAN KARELL
New York Red Bulls midfielder Tim Cahill picked a great day to score his first goals of the season.
With his team playing without Juninho and Dax McCarty in the center of the park due to suspension and injury, respectively, it was Cahill who stepped up to guide the Red Bulls to victory on the road.
The Red Bulls overcame a late goal from Toronto FC to win, 2-1, on Saturday afternoon at BMO Field in Toronto. Cahill scored a goal in each half, including the game-winner in the 89th minute to secure the three points for the Red Bulls and get their second successive win.
Also for the second successive week, TFC forward Robert Earnshaw was held off the board, as Red Bulls defenders Jamison Olave and Markus Holgersson combined to shut down the TFC front line all day. That’s just one of the disappointments of the day for manager Ryan Nelsen, as his side lost Justin Braun and Hogan Ephraim to injury in the first half.
The Red Bulls got on the board in the 39th minute thanks to the quick feet of left back Roy Miller, who cut past a Toronto defender, before centering a ball into the box. Thierry Henry, making a near post run, used a dummy to let the ball pass by him to a waiting Cahill, who buried a left-footed strike to give his side a 1-0 lead.
Taking that score into the halftime, the Red Bulls nearly added a second in the 50th minute, when Cahill and Henry combined beautifully around box before Henry put a left footed shot just over the goal.
Outside of a couple of chances from forward Fabian Espindola though, it was nearly all TFC, who were playing very direct to put the Red Bulls back line under duress. The constant pressure came to fruition for the hosts in the 83rd minute, when the hosts got an equalizer.
The play began when Red Bulls goalkeeper Luis Robles came off his line to the edge of the area to try and punch away a free kick. Robles ended up missing the punch, and 20-year-old TFC substitute Jonathan Osorio calmly send a shot into the net from the top of the box to tie the game.
But the Red Bulls would take the lead for good in the 89th minute. Substitute forward Peguy Luyindula played Henry into the box and from there the Frenchman sent a cross to the far post, where Cahill expertly sent a header into the net to put the Red Bulls up 2-1 for good.
Here are the match highlights: