Forward Thierry Henry’s first goal of the season in the 81st minute lifted the New York Red Bulls to their first win of the season – a 2-1 victory over the Philadelphia Union at Red Bull Arena Saturday afternoon. Midfielder Dax McCarty also found the back of the net for the Red Bulls, who improved to five points off a 1-2-2 record and helped provide head coach Mike Petke with his first-ever win at the helm.
The Red Bulls had the first scoring opportunities of the match. In the 18th minute, McCarty couldn’t get his volley on target, latching onto an Eric Alexander feed. Three minutes later, McCarty slid Jonny Steele through and the midfielder cut it to Peguy Luyindula, who shot it just wide. With four minutes to play in the half, Steele’s right footed attempt off a Luyindula pass went over the crossbar.
New York took the lead in the 55th minute. After a Red Bulls corner kick was cleared, Juninho played it back to Steele, who hit the ball into the box. McCarty was able to flick it on off the right post and into the back of the net.
Phliadelphia equalized in the 63rd minute. Sheanon Williams’ long throw-in was met at the near post by substitute Conor Casey and the Union forward headed it in.
Coming off a left MCL sprain, Henry, who replaced Tim Cahill in the 59th minute, nearly gave the Red Bulls the lead again,hitting a bicycle kick from a McCarty cross past the right post. With 10 minutes to play, Steele forced goalkeeper Zac MacMath to block his blast from 12 yards out.
Henry found the back of the net and got the eventual match-winner in the 81st minute. Heath Pearce played the ball ahead to Luyindula and the French forward chipped it to Henry. Henry took a touch, turned and fired it home.