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Red Bulls avoid the Impact, win 2-1 and build cushion in standings

The Red Bulls are 1 point away from the Eastern Conference #1 seed.

Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Red Bulls entered their midweek match against the Montreal Impact looking to extend their lead in the Eastern Conference and Supporter's Shield races. Their efforts were helped by former Red Bull Ambroise Oyongo in the 16th minute, who used his hand, while trying to sell a header, to keep the ball out of the net. His acting wasn't good enough as he was called for a penalty and shown a red card for deliberately handling the ball. Sacha Kljestan went up to the spot and put it right down the middle for a 1-0 lead.

The Red Bulls would extend the lead to 2 later in the first half as Bradley Wright-Phillips was blocked on a breakaway, but Lloyd Sam received the rebound and chipped Evan Bush and two defenders. Throughout the half, the Red Bulls controlled the game, something they hadn't done much of when up a man.

Montreal would get one back in the 2nd half when Lloyd Sam was called for bringing a player down near the post off of a Montreal free kick. The foul looked like two players going for the ball, but Ted Unkel called it, and Didier Drogba put the ball in the low corner to make it 2-1. The Red Bulls managed to hold off Montreal using their high pressure, keeping the ball in the offensive end for most of the rest of the match, leading to a 2-1 victory.

The win puts the Red Bulls at 54 points, 6 clear of D.C. United in the Eastern Conference standings, and 3 ahead of LA in the Shield race.

3 Thoughts

Oyongo & Eric Alexander

This was Ambroise Oyongo's chance to stick it to the Red Bulls, who traded him in the off season, which led to the Cameroon FA claiming his contract was void. He thought he was clever by jumping and pretending to head the ball while using his arm to keep it off, and was shown the early red.

Alexander was mostly quiet for Montreal, which is generally a good thing for a defensive midfielder, but not when giving up 2 goals. He was subbed off during the second half, and barely had his name mentioned.

Luis Robles

He's making a case for being named Most Valuable Player, or at least a finalist. He stopped a breaking Drogba and had a few other big saves tonight. He's the reason the Red Bulls have won or been in a lot of games, and if that's not the definition of MVP, then I don't know what is.

The Post Brothers

I bet Bradley & Shaun Wright-Phillips didn't want to be known for hitting the posts, but they can be. Both of the brothers managed to hit a post with a shot tonight, and coincidentally, they each hit a different one. There's probably a stat somewhere that says they aren't the first brothers to do this in a game, but I really hope they are. It'd be a cool stat to own since the Red Bulls won anyway.