A sold out crowd of 25,117 at Red Bull Arena saw the New York Red Bulls and Chicago Fire play to a 2-2 tie on Saturday night. New York took the lead on Thierry Henry’s league-leading 12th goal of the year. After falling behind by a goal, the Red Bulls, which outshot the visitors 20-9, got the tying tally in the second half from Joel Lindpere. With the tie, New York moved to 6-6-13 on the season with 31 points.
Henry gave the Red Bulls the lead in the 9th minute. The play started with Roy Miller on the left side of midfield when he played a ball to Dax McCarty inside the left edge of the box. McCarty then fed Richards, who tapped the ball back outside of the box to an open Henry. From about 25 yards out, Henry fired a first-time shot that curled just inside the right post and past goalkeeper Sean Johnson.
The Fire responded to Henry’s opener quickly. Just seven minutes after Chicago fell behind, Patrick Nyarko came down the left flank with open space ahead. Nyarko dribbled into the box and looked up to find Dominic Oduro in the six yard area. The striker made no mistake, flicking the ball into the back of the net with a single touch.
Soon after leveling the game, Chicago found itself in front for the first time. Sebastian Grazzini led the charge, playing a ball to Marco Pappa, who chipped it over the Red Bulls defense to Oduro. Oduro’s shot was saved by Red Bulls debutant goalkeeper Chris Konopka, but the rebound fell to the center of the penalty area. Grazzini was the first to the ball and fired the rebound into the vacant net.
In the 33rd minute, Richards nearly tied the game, taking a Roy Miller feed and blasting a shot from the 18 yard line off the crossbar. Two minutes later, Richards beat his defender to the end line on the left side, and sent in a dangerous low cross that was gobbled up by Johnson from close-range.
The Red Bulls opened the second half looking for the equalizer, and Henry had two good chances to do so. In the 52nd minute, the Frenchman took the ball in his own half and burned past the Fire defense, but his shot form the 18 yard line was well saved by Johnson. Then, just moments later, Henry got on the end of deflected cross and from inside the top right corner of the box, misfired just wide on a volleyed attempt.
New York’s pressure resulted in the equalizing goal in the 63rd minute. Richards played provider again, sending in a cross from the right side. The ball sailed right to Lindpere, who was able to redirect the ball with the inside of his foot from mid air into the open left side of the net.
Midfielder Stephane Auvray made his Red Bulls debut, coming into the match in the 60th minute for Mehdi Ballouchy. New York acquired Auvray Friday from Sporting Kansas City in exchange for their natural 2013 MLS SuperDraft second round pick.
The Red Bulls return to the field next Saturday, August 20 when they travel to Foxborough, MA to take on the New England Revolution at Gillette Stadium. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. ET, and the match will be broadcast live on MSG with a pre-game show starting at 7 p.m.