Wright-Phillips double puts Red Bulls past KC

Wright-Phillips double puts Red Bulls past KC
By Reuters

31/10/2014 at 03:38Updated 31/10/2014 at 06:00

Bradley Wright-Phillips scored a 90th minute winner as the New York Red Bulls came from behind to beat defending champions Sporting Kansas City 2-1 in Major League Soccer's Eastern Conference knock-out round.

The English striker scored both goals to put the Red Bulls into the East's semi-final round against DC United, with the first-leg at Red Bull Arena on Sunday.

Former Manchester City and Southampton striker Wright-Phillips was the top scorer during the MLS regular season with 27 goals and his clinical finishing proved decisive again.

New York should have had the lead by half-time with Australian Tim Cahill missing a sitter in the 18th minute, blasting over the bar from just six yards out.

Wright-Phillips then headed over the bar from close range after a good cross from Lloyd Sam.

Sporting were content to play deep and attack on the break but they forced Red Bulls goalkeeper Luis Robles into action in the 35th minute when Dom Dwyer fed Paulo Nagamura whose low shot was well smothered.

Dwyer showed how it should be done in the 53rd minute when Sporting broke swiftly on the counter-attack and US international Benny Feilhaber threaded the ball through to the English striker who confidently drove home.

The Red Bulls, who have struggled in the playoffs in recent years, got back on level terms when Thierry Henry, playing in what could have been his final game, broke down the left after a nice flick from substitute Peguy Luyindula and cut the ball inside to Wright-Phillips who coolly slotted into the corner.

With former France international Luyindula buzzing around the field, the Red Bulls suddenly had fresh ideas and in the final minute they grabbed the winner.

Luyindula served right-back Ambroise Oyongo on the overlap and his mis-hit looping cross confused the Sporting defence, who left Wright-Phillips alone to head down and in off the post.

The Red Bulls, founder members of MLS, have never won the league's MLS Cup and their only appearance in the final came in 2008 when they lost to Columbus Crew.