Without Thierry Henry the New York Red Bulls knew they would have to battle hard to beat Real Salt Lake, which now sits second in the overall standings, but the Red Bulls were unable to get it done. Three goals over the first 20 minutes for Real proved too much for the Red Bulls to come back from in a 3-1 loss Wednesday night at Red Bull Arena.
Real opened the scoring in the seventh minute, a goal by Alvaro Saborio, then took a three-goal lead with goals in the 11th and 21st minutes by Fabian Espindola. Real’s three goals came on four shots on target through the entire match and cashing in early gave them enough of an advantage to hold on.
Joel Lindpere got the Red Bulls on the board in the 69th minute with a goal assisted by Rafael Marquez, but the Real lead was never in serious danger.
With the Red Bulls loss on Wednesday and a DC United tie the Red Bulls hold only a one-point lead, despite two less games played, over United for the final playoff spot. The Red Bulls next game is against the Portland Timbers on Saturday while DC United will be hosting Real Salt Lake at the same time.