Harrison, NJ – Dax McCarty struck in the final minute of stoppage time at Red Bull Arena on Saturday to give Red Bull New York a dramatic 4-3 victory over Real Salt Lake.
New York jumped out to a two-goal lead that evaporated behind Alvaro Saborio's hat trick, and after Fabian Espindola brought the home side level with his second penalty kick of the match, McCarty played the role of the hero with his third goal of the campaign.
The victory sees New York (10-7-5) extend its unbeaten run to three games as it improves to 35 points on the season, one point shy of first-place Sporting Kansas City.
Real Salt Lake (11-7-4) drops a second heartbreaking match in a row after conceding a late goal in a 2-1 loss to Sporting last time out, but it remains atop the Western Conference on 37 points for the season.
The Red Bulls opened the scoring from a dead-ball situation 11 minutes into the match as Thierry Henry picked out an unmarked Tim Cahill at the back post, allowing the Australia international to nod home with ease.
The lead was doubled 12 minutes later after Kenny Mansally tugged Brandon Barklage to the ground just inside the penalty area. Referee Silviu Petrescu pointed to the spot and Espindola converted the ensuing attempt with a cheeky chip down the center of the goal for his fifth goal of the season.
But the visitors earned a penalty of their own after Olmes Garcia was tripped up by Markus Holgersson just before the break. Saborio scored from the spot to cut Real Salt Lake's deficit in half.
The Claret and Cobalt managed to draw level in the 80th minute when a Garcia laid it off to Saborio to fire home from inside the box. Luis Robles got a hand to the effort but was unable to keep it out.
Saborio struck again two minutes later as he collected a pass from Joao Plata, danced past a couple of Red Bulls defenders in the box and poked a shot into the upper corner.
Salt Lake thought it had done enough to claim all three points, but New York was awarded another penalty kick when Aaron Maund brought down Espindola in the box in the 89th minute. The Argentine converted once more to complete his brace even things up.
But the Red Bulls, not satisfied with the point, eventually went on to get the victory when McCarty nodded home a cross from Barklage after 93 minutes of back-and-forth play.