The New York Red Bulls triumphed in the Hudson River derby on Saturday with a 1-0 victory over New York City FC while Major League Soccer leaders New England fell 2-1 at improving Inter Miami.
It was a dream start for newly appointed Red Bulls interim head coach Troy Lesesne, who replaced the fired Austrian Gerhard Struber on Monday with the team having picked up just one win from the first 11 games.
After Gabriel Pereira had struck the post for New York City with a curling effort in the first half, the Red Bulls took charge after the break and were rewarded with a brilliant lofted shot from Omir Fernandez that won the game in the 76th minute.
David Ruiz, a 19-year-old homegrown player, put Miami ahead in the sixth minute against New England, pouncing on a poor clearance and drilling in a low shot that deflected off Dave Romney and flew into the net for his first MLS goal.
The Revolution thought they had drawn level thorough Noel Buck’s shot from the edge of the box but a VAR review ruled that Latif Blessing had been obstructing the goalkeeper’s view while offside and the effort was ruled out.
But minutes later, Spanish midfield Carles Gil made it 1-1 with a cool finish after his clever footwork earned him space for a well-placed shot.
Inter restored their advantage a minute before the break when Ruiz showed persistence down the right and was able to slip the ball into the path of Josef Martinez, who made no mistake from close range.
It was an eventful game for Ruiz, who was sent off in the 81st minute.
But a man down, Phil Neville’s side battled hard, although they needed goalkeeper Drake Callender to pull off a great save in injury time to deny Jozy Altidore from close range.
Miami has now won three in a row and moved into the playoff positions.
Defending champions Los Angeles FC continued strong early season form with a 3-0 win at Real Salt Lake.
French forward Denis Bouanga struck a thundering goal, his 15th in all competitions this season, to make it 2-0 after Kwadwo Opoku had opened the scoring in the eighth minute. Mateusz Bogusz completed the win with an 87th-minute penalty.
The Chicago Fire, like the Red Bulls, benefitted from the new coach ‘bounce’ with former boss Frank Klopas back on the bench, grabbing just their third win of the campaign with a surprise 1-0 victory over St.Louis City.
The Fire went into the game next to bottom in the Eastern Conference, having sacked coach Ezra Hendrickson on Monday and promoted assistant Klopas for a third spell in charge.
St Louis keeper Roman Burki pulled off a series of saves to deny Chicago before the Fire grabbed the decisive goal in the 40th minute, when substitute Rafael Czichos was left unattended at the back post and turned a Xherdan Shaqiri free-kick home with the outside of his left foot.
– Meram brace brings win –
Iraq international Justin Meram scored twice for Charlotte against his old club Atlanta in an impressive 3-1 win.
The game turned decisively towards Charlotte in the 51st minute when Atlanta’s Andrew Gutman gave away a penalty and was sent off before Karol Swiderski converted to make it 2-0.
Jesus Ferreira scored an 89th-minute winner for FC Dallas in the Texas derby against Austin, with a cool finish after a defense-splitting pass from Tsiki Ntsabeleng.
Austin had to play a man down from the 54th minute after Rodney Redes was sent off for a second yellow.
Houston ended with nine men on the field against Seattle following red cards for Armine Bassi (21st) and Hecotr Herrera (78th) but battled bravely for a point until Paul Rothrock grabbed the winner for the Sounders with three minutes left.
Montreal won an all-Canadian clash with Toronto 2-0 while Theodore Ku-DiPietro struck seven minutes from the end to earn D.C. United a 1-1 draw at home with Nashville.
Brazilian Evander scored twice, the second a superb strike from distance, as the Portland Timbers beat visiting Vancouver 3-1.