Luis Robles crucial as New York Red Bulls steal victory

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Luis Robles was in inspired form as the New York Red Bulls achieved a shock 2-0 victory away to rivals New England Revolution.

The American stopper made save after save to keep out the Revs, while Eric Alexander and Peguy Luyindula provided the goals.

This was the Red Bulls’ first win in Massachusetts since 2002 and they had to do it without Thierry Henry, who wasn’t risked after previous injury problems on FieldTurf similar to that used at the Gillette Stadium.

The pattern of the match was set from the first 30 seconds as Robles parried away a Patrick Mullins snapshot.

Chris Tierney’s threatening delivery then just evaded AJ Soares, before a New York set-piece led to the game’s first goal.

Lloyd Sam delivered a deep free-kick from the left and Bobby Shuttleworth failed in his attempt to take the cross, allowing Alexander to head into the empty net – the goal marking the first time that the Revolution had fallen behind at home all year.

Keen to execute an immediate response, the hosts came forward again, with Robles saving well from Lee Nguyen and an angled drive from the dangerous Tierney.

Major League Soccer top-scorer Bradley Wright-Phillips broke through the New England ranks but was halted superbly by the retreating Jose Goncalves, and a quick breakaway saw the visiting goalkeeper this time deny Teal Bunbury.

Jay Heaps’ side were dominating possession, but Chris Duvall worked space on the edge of the area to go close.

One minute before half-time, Diego Fagundez thought he’d found the equaliser. Collecting Mullins’ pass and accelerating past a couple of challenges, the 19-year-old winger beat Robles but saw his effort crash back out off the post.

The Revs’ onslaught continued after the break, with substitute Kelyn Rowe’s energy creating numerous opportunities as the Red Bulls goalkeeper was forced to save from Andrew Farrell, Nguyen and then Fagundez in quick succession.

With the game reaching its final 20 minutes, Robles was forced to make his best stop yet. Tierney’s centre landed on New York’s six-yard line and diverted off Ibrahim Sekagya towards the bottom corner, but the 30-year-old was able to claw the ball away at full stretch.

That save proved vital as the visitors then doubled their advantage.

A free-kick in New England’s area wasn’t cleared efficiently, and after several ricochets the ball fell to Luyindula. The former France international was handed a starting spot due to Henry’s absence, and he justified the selection by thumping home from 30 yards.

Jonny Steele should have added a third moments later when he was played in, but after cutting back he curled wide of the far post.

Fagundez had remained lively throughout and in the last minute he squared for Bunbury, but the 24-year-old failed to make contact from beneath the cross-bar.

The Red Bulls survived an extended stoppage time period to hold on for the win and put a considerable dent in the Revolution’s hopes of catching the Seattle Sounders FC in the race for the Supporters’ Shield.

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