Another stout defensive effort led the New York Red Bulls to their third straight victory on Wednesday night, defeating the Houston Dynamo, 1-0, at Red Bull Arena. Kenny Cooper’s eighth goal of the season in the seventh minute stood up as New York’s defense kept its third consecutive clean sheet. The win improved New York to 6-3-1 with 19 points on the season, as they jumped into second place in the Eastern Conference. New York is now 6-1-1 in its last eight matches.

The Red Bulls got a fortunate bounce that resulted in the game’s only goal just seven minutes in. Cooper dribbled at the top of the box but was dispossessed and Dynamo defender Corey Ashe played the ball back to goalkeeper Tally Hall. Cooper pressured Hall, who hurriedly tried to blast it upfield. However, the ball took a deflection off of Cooper and bounded into the net.

The teams traded possession for the remainder of the first half, with neither side able to generate many scoring chances. In the 65th minute, the Red Bulls created a good scoring opportunity when Dane Richards set up substitute forward Juan Agudelo. However, Agudelo’s shot from 20 yards was parried away by Hall. A minute later, Dax McCarty tried his luck from over 25-yards-out after a giveaway by the Dynamo defense and the shot sailed wide.

The Dynamo had two excellent opportunities to even the match, first in the in the 82nd minute. A loose ball popped out to Brad Davis at the top of the area. Davis’ ensuing shot kept rising and just missed the frame. Two minutes later, Adam Moffat tried his luck from 20 yards out and was also unable to keep his attempt on goal.

In second half stoppage time, rookie goalkeeper Ryan Meara was able to deny a header by Houston forward Will Bruin. Meara was unable to cleanly catch the looping shot initially, but eventually took control of the ball to preserve the shutout.

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