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Major League Soccer

Red Bulls go three points clear at the top of the East after narrow win over FC Dallas

22 September

New York Red Bulls 1 FC Dallas 0

The hosts made it four wins on the bounce as they extended their lead at the top of the Eastern Conference to three points over their nearest rival Sporting Kansas City. In a game that was bereft of chances New York started the brightest and created the first scoring opportunity after 17 minutes.

Eric Alexander sent in a cross and the defection it took had it rebound of the post, but from the Dallas point of view it finished in the perfect place as it fell straight in the grateful arms of keeper Raul Fernandez and not the back of the net as the home side would of preferred. 8 minutes later saw the Red Bulls have to change personal as Bradley Wright-Phillips who looked like he was about to bear down on goal when he suddenly pulled up quickly and he left the field soon after to be replaced by Fabian Espindola.

The closest the visitors came to scoring happened seconds before the half-time interval. Fabian Castillo found himself with the ball at his feet but with the angle on the left tight he was denied by a superb one-handed stop by the home sides goalkeeper Luis Robles. As the game went into the second half the Red Bulls normally reliable captain Thierry Henry wasted what for him were reasonable chances. Dallas appealed for a penalty kick after 68 minutes but that was waived away by referee Matthew Foerster after a header by David Ferreira had hit the outstretched arm of Red Bulls centre-back Jamison Olave.

Just as it looked like it would end score-less the home side got a large slice of luck with 14 minutes remaining. A cross from the left by Jonny Steele caused all sorts of problems in the Dallas back line as Erick and fellow defender Matt Hedges tried to clear it and that resulted in the former putting it in his own net much to the delight of the home fans. The loss for the Texan outfit was their second in a row and leaves them still eighth in the Western Conference and five points out of the final playoff place, but they do have a game in hand on some of their rivals.