CARSON, Calif. – Joel Lindpere’s early goal held up as the New York Red Bulls beat the LA Galaxy 1-0 at The Home Depot Center on Saturday.
Lindpere converted one of New York’s scant few opportunities in the match, but the visitors did more than enough defensively to keep the hosts off the scoreboard.
It was LA who nearly broke through first, though. Robbie Keane almost put the hosts on the scoreboard in the 12th minute when he danced around Ryan Meara at the top of the penalty area. Keane’s chip from 15 yards took a high bounce but was cleared off the line.
New York broke through seven minutes later. Jan Gunnar Solli carried the ball down the left flank and slipped a pass inside to Lindpere, who’d burst through midfield untracked. With Galaxy defenders collapsing around him, Lindpere somehow knocked the ball through a crowd and past Bill Gaudette for the game’s only goal.
The tally ensured that the Galaxy would not pick up their first shutout of 2012 on the night.
From there it became a rearguard action for the Red Bulls, who were only too happy to clamp down on an LA attack that was a step slow all night.
For most of the first half, the best LA could muster came off of restarts from dangerous positions. But the Galaxy were untidy with them and failed to really threaten Meara’s goal.
Not much changed at the outset of the second half. Despite needing a goal, the hosts were no more aggressive than they were in the opening 45 minutes. New York did well to absorb their pressure and not let the Galaxy get in dangerous positions, while Meara was excellent coming off his line to control his area.
Galaxy coach Bruce Arena made a pair of changes midway through the second half. Chad Barrett and Pat Noonan, who combined for an injury-time leveler a week ago against FC Dallas, came on for Edson Buddle and Mike Magee.
Postgame Press Conference
Barrett broke loose inside the penalty area for a brief moment in the 74th minute but pushed his attempt wide. The forward had several other good chances, but contrived a way to miss the target each time.
The closest LA would come to a leveler was off the foot of Juninho in the 82nd minute. The Brazilian lined up a patented 20-yard drive, but Meara was there to tip cleanly over the bar.
Down the stretch, New York did well to kill off the lead with some quality hold-up play from Kenny Cooper and sub Juan Agudelo, who made his return to the Red Bulls from a long injury layoff when he replaced Solli in the 82nd minute.
With the loss LA drop to 3-5-1, seventh place in the Western Conference. They’re in action again next Saturday when they travel to Montreal to face the Impact.
New York, meanwhile, claim their second 1-0 victory in a row, now solidly in third place in the East at 5-3-1. They’ll take on conference rivals Houston at Red Bull Arena on Wednesday.
Postgame Interview: Sean Franklin