Red Bulls 1, Galaxy 0

Tim Cahill scored on a header off a crossing pass in second half

stoppage time, lifting the New York Red Bulls to a 1-0 victory over

the Los Angeles Galaxy on Sunday.

It was the fifth win in the last six games for the Red Bulls

(7-4-3).

Through the first eight games of the 2013 season, Cahill, one of

the team’s high-paid designated players at $3.6 million this

season, did not find the net. He drew criticism from fans and

media, ”But he was never criticized here,” Red Bulls head coach

Mike Petke said

It marked the fourth goal in the last five games for Cahill, who

is playing like the dominant offensive force the franchise thought

they were getting last year.

”I can’t say enough about Tim,” Petke said. ”Now he’s scoring

goals and everyone says he’s playing great. Well, I always thought

he was playing great.”

Cahill managed to get behind the wall of Galaxy defenders to

perfectly head home a crossing pass from Juninho for the game

winner.

”I’m just happy to score,” Cahill said. ”I knew where Juninho

was going to put it, I knew it was going to be dangerous and it was

just a matter of getting contact. It’s good when you seem to have a

chance to produce in big games and I’ve managed to come up for us

lately, so it’s nice.”

Luis Robles made three saves to record his fourth shutout of the

season.

”It was a silly free kick and they played the ball into the

box,” said Los Angeles goalkeeper Carlo Cudicini, who made two

saves, but couldn’t stop the game-winner. ”Once the ball got into

the box, I don’t know what happened, because I couldn’t see with

all the players jumping in front of me.”

Cudicini and teammate Landon Donovan were upset after the

setback.

”It’s disappointing, because I don’t think we deserved to

lose,” Cudicini said. ”We had the better chances. It’s terrible

that we’re going home with nothing.”

”They made the play that mattered down the stretch,” Donovan

said. ”It wasn’t a game of great chances, but we had a few.”

In the 76th minute, the Galaxy (5-4-2) had two great chances,

both from Gyasi Zardes. On the first attempt, Red Bulls defender

Jamison Olave, who had a brilliant all-around game, made a sliding

tackle to knock the ball away. Two minutes later, Zardes fired a

right-footed blast from 10 yards out that Robles punched aside.

The Galaxy had another great chance, when Zardes’ crossing pass

went directly to Keane’s head, who directed it just wide left of

the goal in the 89th minute.

The Red Bulls had two decent opportunities in the early portion

of the second half, when Fabian Espindola and Cahill both fired

long shots that sailed wide left within four minutes of each

other.

Espindola had yet another great chance, but his left-footed shot

from 35 yards out bounced once into the arms of goalkeeper Carlo

Cudicini.

The Galaxy then dominated play for the next 10 minutes.

Landon Donovan fired a right-footed blast from 19 yards out that

sailed over the crossbar in the 61st minute.

The first half was played in a steady rain and featured few

scoring chances.

The Red Bulls had the better of the opportunities, both created

by Espindola.

In the 27th minute, Espindola perfectly split two defenders to

get a clear path to the goal. He went right in on Cudicini and drew

the goalie away from the box. But Espindola’s soft shot was

eventually kicked aside by Galaxy defender A.J. DeLaGarza before it

reached the goal line.

Five minutes later, Espindola unleashed a left-footed blast that

Cudicini corralled.

The Galaxy had their best chances in the final minute and added

time. In the 44th minute, Robbie Keane was brought down from 30

yards out, awarding Los Angeles a direct free kick. Keane took the

free kick and the bending high shot was punched aside by

Robles.

Two minutes later, Todd Dunivant took a left-footed shot from 10

yards out that Robles secured, keeping the scoreless tie into

intermission.

”We had a better understanding in the second half,” Petke

said. ”We came out and took it to them with a little bit of a

bite.”

Defender Jamison Olave had a sensational day, making several key

stops, some even from behind.

”He reads the game and has good catch-up speed,” Petke said.

”He makes plays, times it and does it well.”