Red Bulls bounce Sporting KC from playoffs
HARRISON, N.J. — Bradley Wright-Phillips scored twice in the final 13 minutes to rally New York to a 2-1 victory over Sporting Kansas City on Thursday night, eliminating the defending MLS Cup champion from the playoffs and sending the Red Bulls to the conference semifinals.
Bradley Wright-Phillips, who led the league with a record-tying 27 goals, tied it in the 77th minute and headed in the winner with less than a minute remaining in regulation.
New York will host Eastern Conference champion D.C. United on Sunday in the first-leg of a two-match semifinal. D.C. will host the second leg on Nov. 8.
New York’s victory was its third straight in the past two months over Kansas City, and left it unbeaten against Sporting this season.
The loss was Kansas City’s fourth straight, including a CONCACAF Champions League match against Saprissa in Costa Rica.
Dom Dwyer scored in the 53rd minute to give Kansas City the lead. Benny Feilhaber stole the ball at midfield from Eric Alexander and led a fast counter that Dwyer finished with a left-footed volley.
The Red Bulls had the better possession in the game and finally equalized off a play that began at midfield with a free kick. Dax McCarty put the ball into Peguy Luyindula, who sprayed it wide into the path of Thierry Henry.
The 37-year-old Frenchman, whose contract expires this year and has not indicated if he intends to return, slipped a short pass toward the middle of the penalty area. Wright-Phillips ran onto it and struck it first time, knocking it off the leg of defender Matt Besler and inside the far post.
Wright-Phillips then brought the crowd of 15,518 to its feet when he headed in Ambroise Oyongo’s cross past goalkeeper Eric Kronberg.