Real Salt Lake FW Alvaro Saborio had all three goals for RSL, but his hat trick wasn’t enough for the Claret-and-Cobalt, which went home losers after former FW Fabian Espindola buried his second PK of the game in the 89th minute and MF Dax McCarty scored the winner in the 94th.
New York MF Tim Cahill put the Red Bulls on top in the 11th minute. FW Thierry Henry curled a free kick in from the center of RSL’s half, finding an unmarked Cahill at the left post. The Australian Designated Player buried the opportunity, running onto the ball at the top-left corner of the six and heading home.
New York doubled its lead just 12 minutes later. RSL DF Abdouliue Mansally was whistled for a soft foul at the top of the box on New York DF Brandon Barklage, giving the Red Bulls a penalty kick. Espindola buried the chance, chipping his spot kick down the middle to give the Red Bulls a 2-0 lead.
Real Salt Lake nearly pulled one back in the 33rd minute. MF Javier Morales curled a low 25-yard free kick from the middle of the field around the New York wall, forcing Red Bulls GK Luis Robles into a fine diving save at the right post.
RSL dodged a major bullet in the 38th. Henry picked up a loose ball in the middle of the Claret-and-Cobalt’s defensive third, weaving his way past a pair of RSL defenders and into the left side of the box before hitting a cheeky right-footer off the far post from 15 yards. The Frenchman looked poised to finish the follow-up attempt, but RSL DF Nat Borchers made a big sliding block to keep Henry’s close-range effort out.
RSL GK Jeff Attinella made a huge save to keep RSL in the game in the 39th. MF Eric Alexander crossed a ball in from the right flank to Espindola, who took advantage of a fallen RSL player to turn and hit a shot on frame. Attinella made a big stop, rushing off his line to block the former RSL man’s attempt.
The Claret-and-Cobalt got on the board just before the break, with Saborio burying a PK to pull RSL within one in the 45th minute. FW Olmes Garcia earned the penalty, chasing down a long ball on the right side before rounding Red Bulls DF Markus Holgersson, who fouled Garcia in the box. Saborio buried the ensuing spot kick, hitting it low and into the left corner for his fifth goal of the year.
Attinella came up with another big stop in the 75th minute. Cahill got on the end of a corner kick at the right side of the six, putting a diving header on goal that Attinella stopped with a fantastic reaction save.
RSL made Attinella’s big stop pay off in the 80th minute, when Saborio scored his second goal of the match to equalize. Substitute MF Luis Gil hit a deflected ball that fell to Garcia in the right side of the box. Garcia quickly squared to the top of the 18 to Saborio, who hit a right footed shot off of Robles and inside the right post.
Saborio completed his hat trick two minutes later, scoring an incredible goal to give RSL an improbable lead. Substitute FW Joao Plata collected a ball on the left wing, cutting into the middle and finding Saborio at the top of the box. The Costa Rican international took a couple of touches to his left, before chipping an outstanding shot with the outside of the right post and into the right netting.
Unfortunately, RSL couldn’t hold the lead, conceding in the 89th and 94th minutes to fall 3-2. Espindola earned – and converted – a second penalty to tie, with referee Silviu Petrescu whistling RSL DF Aaron Maund for a controversial foul in the left side of the box. Attinella guessed correctly on Espindola’s spot kick, but couldn’t quite reach the shot, which found the left side of the net.
McCarty gave the Red Bulls the win in the 94th. Barklage collected the ball on the right wing, whipping in an early cross to the center of the area. McCarty got on the end of it, diving at full extension to redirect the ball past Attinella and into the left side of the net.