FRISCO, Texas (AP) -- Joel Lindpere scored in the 61st minute and
the New York Red Bulls withstood a late charge to hold off FC
Dallas 2-0 on Wednesday night in an MLS Wild Card playoff match.
New York advanced to face Los Angeles in the semifinals. The Red
Bulls host the first leg Sunday and the second leg is at the
Galaxy on Nov. 3.
Frank Rost made eight saves for the shutout, despite the team
playing a man down from the 79th minute on after Solli Jan
Gunnar was ejected with a red card.
"I suppose you can compare this match with the match four weeks
ago, it was the same," said Rost, referring to New York's 1-0
win here Sept. 17 that sparked the Red Bulls' 4-2-1 stretch run
that helped them land the final spot in the postseason. "We
defended well and we scored with our two chances and that's
Thierry Henry scored in the 96th minute to finish it off just
seconds before the final whistle.
"A solid game for us, definitely the key for us was our
defense," said New York coach Hans Backe, whose club has now won
four consecutive road playoff matches. "Even when we were one
down, they still showed unbelievable discipline in our defense.
I'm excited, I'm very pleased with our defense."
Dallas lost in the MLS Cup final last season.
"I really thought that we came out very lively and with really
good team chemistry and to do everything we possibly could to
get the result we wanted," said Dallas coach Schellas Hyndman.
"I thought we put some really good pressure on New York, but we
just couldn't get on the end of some of the services, or we
couldn't get the shot on frame. I thought we did everything we
possibly could. No excuses, they came in and beat us on our
Lindpere connected in the 61st minute to put New York up 1-0.
Seconds after Dallas goalkeeper Kevin Hartman made a spectacular
diving save on Lindpere's blast from 25 yards out, Mehdi
Ballouchy fed a pass from the right side of the penalty area
into the middle, where the charging Lindpere slid feet-first to
chip it past Hartman.
"I ended up cutting back and playing it to my left," said
Ballouchy, who had just entered the game two minutes earlier.
"Their back stepped up and opened up Joel and he was able to
finish it. We were fortunate to get the first goal of the game."
It was the second career MLS playoff goal for Lindpere, who had
seven goals and seven assists during the regular season.
Dallas nearly tied it in the 76th minute when leading scorer
Brek Shea chased down a loose ball on the left side of the area
and popped it over the sliding Rost towards the open net, but
defender Tim Ream managed to clear it out.
"He knows if I go out, he stays on the line," Rost said of Ream.
"It's automatic, if you play week-for-week, then you have the
rhythm. We've played in this formation for the fourth or fifth
time, and you can see it."
The complexion of the match then changed three minutes later
when Gunnar was shown the red card for his slide tackle that
took out Dallas captain Daniel Hernandez.
"I would say I can understand the referee after seeing the
replay," said Backe of the call. "I think it is a 50-50. In
England it would be a yellow, definitely, but I can understand
why he gave him the red card."
Dallas continued to press for the equalizer, but Rost denied
Jackson Goncalves' 20-yard shot in the 85th minute and then
Maicon Santos's blast from 25 yards out curled just wide of the
The teams wound up playing 10-on-10 for the 6 minutes of
stoppage time when Dallas defender Zach Loyd was injured and
carried off on a stretcher, after Dallas had already used up all
of its substitutions.
Henry, who finished third in the MLS with 14 regular season
goals, sealed the win following a breakaway just before the
After chasing down a New York clear, he dribbled into the
penalty area, where Hartman stopped the initial shot, but the
rebound rolled towards the right post and Henry got to it first,
tapping it over the line.