Harrison, NJ (SportsNetwork.com) - Red Bull New York won its first trophy in
franchise history on Sunday, topping Chicago Fire by a 5-2 score line at Red
Bull Arena to win the Supporters' Shield.
New York had already clinched a berth in the postseason, but by virtue of
finishing the regular season with the league's best record, they will host the
second leg of their first playoff series as well as the MLS Cup Final, should
they advance that far.
Chicago, by contrast needed to produce at least a draw to sneak into the
postseason and had the better of the play early on before opening the scoring
just six minutes in.
Dilly Duka got the play rolling when he cut inside and unleashed a wicked
strike on goal that was spilled by Red Bull goalkeeper Luis Robles and Mike
Magee was there to clean up the rebound.
But New York found an equalizer in the 24th minute with a piece of individual
brilliance from Thierry Henry, who brought down an aerial pass from Peguy
Luyindula with his chest and ripped a shot on the half-volley that struck the
underside of the bar and went in.
The Red Bulls then took the lead just four minutes into the second half as
Henry lofted a free kick into the box that was headed on goal by Dax McCarty.
Fire goalkeeper Sean Johnson parried it away but defender Ibrahim Sekagya was
there for the rebound.
The Red Bulls made it a 3-1 game in the 56th minute as Lloyd Sam beat Johnson
with a beautiful left-footed curling strike and put the game out of reach when
Eric Alexander scored 13 minutes from time for a 4-1 margin.
Jonny Steele put an exclamation point on a spectacular performance when he
fired one home following an inch-perfect pass from Henry in the 84th minute.
Quincy Amarikwa pulled one back for Chicago in stoppage time, but it was too
little, too late for the Fire, who were officially eliminated from the playoff
picture with the defeat.
The Sports Network