HARRISON, N.J. – Kenny Miller scored in the 83rd minute to give the Vancouver Whitecaps only their second win in nearly three months, a 2-1 victory over the Red Bulls on Saturday night.
New York (7-5-4) had its unbeaten streak snapped at seven games, falling one point out of first place of the Eastern Conference after Montreal rallied to beat Sporting KC. Vancouver (4-4-4) jumped into sixth place in the Western Conference with its second win since March 9.
Miller broke up a tight game at Red Bull Arena when he streaked across the goalmouth and headed Russell Teibert's looping cross from the right side of the penalty area for his third goal of the season. He had found an opening in the defense after defender Jamison Olave was sent off in the 74th minute on a red card for a violent trip on Miller.
"I'd been looking for him all game long," Teibert said. "I finally got him late."
Peguuy Luyindula had one last chance to tie it seconds from the end of stoppage time, but Brad Knighton made the save.
The Red Bulls got on the board in the 51st minute, though the goal actually came off the foot of Vancouver defender Greg Klazura for an own goal. Thierry Henry had threaded a pass to the left side of the penalty area to Jonny Steele. Steele let fly with a hard shot that deflected off Klazura and past goalkeeper Knighton for a 1-0 lead.
The Whitecaps, who went in 1-4-4 over their previous nine games, their only win coming two games ago against the Galaxy, evened the score seven minutes later when Jordan Harvey put his first goal of the season past Luis Robles off a muffed clearing header by midfielder Eric Alexander.
Whitecaps coach Martin Rennie called the victory a potential season-turner for the Whitecaps, who tied 2-2 with Portland on May 18 and saw their Canadian Cup dreams dashed Wednesday against the Montreal Impact.
"It's tough to come here after a game like that and play against a top-five team," Rennie said. "We showed great character tonight. Our points total doesn't match our quality of play.
"We've had a number of games where we deserved more than we got. We've been in a lot of tough games, but the schedule may be turning."
Despite playing without creative midfielder Tim Cahill, an Australian international call-up, the Red Bulls generated plenty of scoring chances in the scoreless first half.
A one-minute sequence demonstrated that goals would be hard to come by on the hot, muggy night. The Red Bulls had three good chances between the 15th and 16th minutes. The first came on Henry's feed to Fabian Espindola that was corralled by a diving Knighton. Seconds later, Knighton ran down a long chip before the streaking Henry could get to it. The last of the flurry came a half-minute later when Steele blasted a shot from 25 yards that Knighton smothered.
"It wasn't difficult breaking them down," Red Bulls coach Mike Petke said. "I don't know what game you were watching, but I thought we broke them down. We had many opportunities. We just didn't get it done."
Henry was more critical.
"I kept on saying for maybe five, six games in a row, I've said our luck is going away," said the Red Bulls' leading scorer. "We had chances to put it in the back of the net in the end, but the luck is going away."
Henry's best chance came in the fifth minute when he came in alone for a point-blank shot that went into the Knighton's abdomen.
The Red Bulls kept up the pressure throughout the half, but Knighton turned away another chance when Espindola appeared to be pushed down just feet from the goalmouth. Espindola argued for a penalty kick to no avail.