Harrison, NJ (Sports Network) – Real Salt Lake tied Red Bull New York, 0-0, on Saturday at Red Bull Arena to extend its unbeaten streak to 12 games in Major League Soccer.
Real Salt Lake hit the post twice in the first half as it tried to pull within two points of the Los Angeles Galaxy for the top overall record in the Western Conference and MLS, but is now four points back with two games to play.
RSL (14-4-10) goalkeeper Nick Rimando made just one save for his 13th shutout, which leads MLS. Real, which has lost just once in its last 23 games, finishes the regular season with games against FC Dallas and the Colorado Rapids.
New York (14-8-6), which passed the Columbus Crew to take over first place in the Eastern Conference standings last weekend, extended its lead to two points with the draw. Columbus lost to the Chicago Fire, 2-0, on Friday night.
New York had the first scoring chance inside five minutes, but Mehdi Ballouchy couldn’t sneak a 16-yard half-volley past Nick Rimando to the bottom left.
Real followed with the first of two shots off the post in the opening half, as Andy Williams made a nice turn in the area to open space but drilled the right upright in the ninth.
Rafael Marquez whistled a shot just by the left post from 35 yards in the 22nd and RSL found the post again three minutes later, as New York survived another scare. Robbie Russell was denied by the left post off a shot from outside the area that like Williams’ shot, easily had N.Y. goalie Greg Sutton beat.
Juan Pablo Angel turned a header over the bar in the 69th on the first scoring chance for either side after half, then Real’s Paulo Araujo Jr. slipped a shot between two defenders but Sutton was in position to make an easy save.
Sutton made another save eight minutes from time when he crashed into his left post to knock down a free kick from Javier Morales, and a cross back into the area was cleared by the Red Bulls.
Angel had one more look with three minutes remaining, but fired wide right off a shot from the left side.
Sutton, starting with Bouna Coundoul away on international duty, finished with two saves for his second shutout in only three starts this season.
Real Salt Lake visits FC Dallas on Oct. 16, when New York visits Philadelphia with a chance to wrap up the Eastern Conference regular-season title. Both RSL and New York previously clinched playoff berths.