Cahill’s stoppage-time goal leads Red Bulls over Galaxy

Rafael Garcia, Tim Cahill

Photo by ISIPhotos.com

By DAN KARELL

In a classic battle between two of Major League Soccer’s elites, it seemed only right that the game-winning goal would come in 90th minute stoppage time.

For the third time this season, New York Red Bulls midfielder Tim Cahill scored the deciding goal, sending in a crucial header off a free kick from teammate Juninho in the first minute of stoppage time to defeat the Los Angeles Galaxy, 1-0, on a rainy Sunday afternoon at Red Bull Arena.

“I knew where Juninho was going to put it,” Cahill said after the match. “I knew it was going to be dangerous and it was just a matter of getting contact.”

Though there was plenty of attacking talent in attendance, the match was a gritty defensive performance by both sides in the final third of field. Galaxy defender A.J. DeLaGarza saved a chipped shot off the line from Red Bulls forward Fabian Espindola in the 28th minute, while Red Bulls defenders Markus Holgersson and Jamison Olave worked well to keep Galaxy forwards Robbie Keane and Jose Villarreal’s touches around the goal to a minimum.

“From the first moment, the first tackle (Olave) get’s in to, he’s somebody that a forward is going to be looking over his shoulder for the rest of the game,” Red Bulls manager Mike Petke said. “He’s a guy who makes a difference.”

Just seconds before halftime, Keane had a chance to put his team on the scoreboard with a free kick from 25 yards out. The 32-year-old hit a bending free kick towards the left post that saw Red Bulls goalkeeper Luis Robles make a diving save to his right to keep the Galaxy off the board.

“We just needed a little, maybe ten more percent, and I think we probably could’ve won the game,” Keane said. “I think we just didn’t have the attacking resource that we did a few nights ago.”

Coming into the second period of play, the two squads made adjustments. The Red Bulls began to play more diagonal balls forward and really use the wings as a means of attack, while the Galaxy brought midfielder Landon Donovan more central to link with Keane.

“I thought in the second half we came out with a better understanding of what we wanted to do,” Petke said. We came out with a better mentality and we possessed the ball better than we did in the first half.”

Galaxy manager Bruce Arena brought on flamboyant forward Gyasi Zardes in the 61st minute, and just seconds later Donovan slammed a first-timed shot that whizzed over the bar. In the 78th minute, Zardes beat the offside trap and nearly scored if not for the sliding save of Robles, who was quick off his line to knock the shot away.

In the 89th minute, the Red Bulls defense let down their guard for just a second, as Zardes ran unopposed down the right wing before crossing into the middle, where between Olave and Holgersson, Keane jumped and sent a header towards the far post, just missing the post by inches.

After nearly providing the game-winning assist, Zardes next committed what would be one of the key fouls of the match. Juninho stepped up to take the free kick, and the 38-year-old did not disappoint, sending a perfectly weighted ball to the far post where Cahill arrived to head the ball past Galaxy goalkeeper Carlo Cudicini and into the net.

“I have (Henry) to thank for the block on Gonzalez,” Cahill said about his fourth goal of the season. “He’s a big guy and was heading everything away.

“It’s good when you seem to have a chance to produce in big games and I’ve managed to come up for us lately, so it’s nice.”

For the Galaxy, the scoreline is their third loss in four matches, with all the goals conceded coming in the second half.

“I’m very disappointed not having the minimum of four points in the road trip, even though it was a good effort from our guys,” Arena said. “I’m disappointed for our players because we certainly played well enough to get out of here with a point.”

The win moves the Red Bulls four points clear at the top of the Eastern Conference and extends their unbeaten run to six matches. Even thought they secured the victory, Red Bulls captain Thierry Henry knew his side could play better.

“I don’t think we played well today,” Henry said. “I actually thought the way they were playing, especially at the end, that they [Galaxy] deserved to win the game. Since I’ve been here I think we would have lost that game.

“The thing I learned today is that we can win these types of games.”

Here are the match highlights:

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28 Responses to Cahill’s stoppage-time goal leads Red Bulls over Galaxy

  1. Jean Rodriguez says:

    Great win for the red bulls. This team is coming along fine. They are showing that they have character.

    • Drew says:

      Is there a player more uninterested in playing than Henry?

      Was at the game yesterday (not a fan of either team) and he yelled at his teammates, moped around when he didnt get the ball, and when they scored was the only one on the field who didnt go celebreate. In fact, he walked in the complete opposite direction of everyone else.

      One last thing, Donovan was clearly one of the best players on the field yesterday (maybe the best). Still dont get how he was left off.

  2. Adrian says:

    Jean great news truly, as a Galaxy supporter I give Robles and your team big credit. However our attack is missing a third DP by my likes of it , my wishful thinking would love to see a Kaka or Ronaldhino come the summer window.

  3. AcidBurn says:

    I thought Arena was the king of 1-0 wins, looks like Petke outdid him at his own game. Cahill with another “shut up haters” goal.

    In other news, Zardes is still raw but has the tools to be a serious player.

    • Brian says:

      I want to see Zardes start up top with Keane. I think he has looked dangerous every time he has appeared.

  4. Scott e Dio93 says:

    Galaxy needs to reinforce that midfield.

    • Brian says:

      True. I laughed with Twellman talked about the great Galaxy depth while listing a bunch of rookies and 2nd year players. Sure the Galaxy draft well, but the bottom line is the Galaxy bench is long on promise but short on experience. When your 1st option off the bench for central midfield is a guy with only 30min of league experience, you don’t have much depth.

      • beachbum says:

        Galaxy, as Henry noted, played plenty well in that game to leave with the point, or more. In the past when Juninho goes down they have struggled much more

        • Brian says:

          Henry was being generous in my opinion. They surprisingly played well enough for a tie and had a couple decent chances late to steal the 3 points but that was the best you were going to see from Garcia and he was the best option off the bench. Sarvas should be a guy who comes off the bench to provide some bite in the midfield late in games, not Garcia. Instead Sarvas is the Galaxy’s playmaking central midfielder which isn’t saying much. That speaks to lack of depth.

  5. louis z says:

    For all the accolades LD got from the previous game, I was looking for him to make his presence known in this game, like Cahill did for NY.

  6. BlancDaBody says:

    Can we start moving RBNY into a top 5 spot in the power rankings finally?

  7. Wagner says:

    What happened Juninho v Juninho when he got hurt?

    • beachbum says:

      love all the snarky comments from the usual suspects. let’s stay in touch fellas

      • beachbum says:

        wasn’t responding your comment above Wagner

        but to answer, studs up challenge on a higher ball that was just late and got Juninho-LA instead of the ball

  8. Scott A says:

    Without knowing the specifics of RSL’s financials and personnel situation, letting Olave go seemed bonkers then and seems bonkers now.

  9. beto says:

    NYRB fans chanting “US Reject” at Donovan was terrible. Why would you ever think that would be appropriate?!? All time leader in assist and goals, scored countless big goals over his career ya he is currently not in the squad but he was never “rejected” from the national team!

    I understand that fans are just trying to throw off the other team’s big player but have some respect!.. when Barca plays away games fans from all of the other Liga clubs applaud Andres Iniesta, regardless how he is playing vs. their club..

    That plus Tierry Henry jogging around waiting for someone to give him a perfect ball pissed me off.. The worst was when the ref called a foul right as LA was about to score the first goal..ever heard of ADVANTAGE?!? LA was and is the better team.

    Good goal by Cahill and keeping by Robles, but don’t think too high of yourselves NJ Red Bulls.

    • Scott A says:

      Who cares what Barcelona fans do? La Liga support is weak. Spaz.

    • Pete says:

      Well LD aka ballerina , got much worst years before but also got a standing ovation at RBA after the WC. It’s our house and we only support our players .
      It was a touch game , Henry was covered by the best defender in a league (Gonzales ) but that gave a other players a chance to go at rest of the LA defence . Just as Cahill said , TH blocked Gonzo and he scored , Henry did enough on that play to get us 3pts .
      Btw good to see LA Riot and ACB comming to RBA

      • Beto says:

        True i do recall the post wc reaction, so props for that but still staning by the rest of my comments

    • UseCommonSenseDude says:

      Top of the league and that’s a fact, you are so butth*rt

  10. Good Jeremy says:

    I’m still waiting to see Vllareal to show up and make a big difference in a game. He hasn’t been bad, but is not nearly living up to his hype despite playing alongside Donovan and Keane.
    Zander’s looked very promising though. Great technical and physical skills, he just needs more game time to work on his real-time judgment.

    • Good Jeremy says:

      Zander’s = Zardes with autocorrect.
      Also, he tracks back well.

      • Brian says:

        The problem with Villarreal is that he can’t stand up to the physical play. Hopefully it comes with experience but right now he gets muscled off the ball especially in the Galaxy 2 forward system playing with Robbie Keane. His best contributions of late have been falling down in and around the box and throwing up his hands looking for the foul/PK.

        He excelled in the U-20 system where he said he enjoyed playing because the team played with the ball at your feet latin style.

        • Fredo says:

          You think? To me, he seems to want to play off the shoulder defenders and play the line. He seems to have trouble with Keane because he’s not running into space when Keane expects him to be. I don’t see him getting muscled off the ball.

  11. Fredo says:

    I’ve been hoping Cudicini would show something that allowed him to play multiple seasons as backup goalie for Tottenham and Chelsea, but there’s nothing there. He is no good and has cost The Galaxy a game now.