Cristian Casseres Jr. scored in the third minute and the host New York Red Bulls continued their playoff push with a 1-0 victory over slumping New York City FC Sunday afternoon in Harrison, N.J.
Casseres Jr. scored with a strong finish on a set piece in the opening moments.
Andres Reyes Jr. headed the ball to Casseres, who finished the play with a right-footed shot from close range in the center of the box.
The Red Bulls (11-11-7, 40 points) are 5-0-2 in their past seven matches since a 2-1 loss at Columbus on Sept. 14. They also are 6-2-3 in their past 11 after a 1-5-4 skid that put their 12th straight postseason appearance in jeopardy.
With five games left, the Red Bulls moved into a tie for eighth with NYCFC (11-11-7, 40 points). The rivals are one point behind CF Montreal for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
NYCFC has gone scoreless since Valentin Castellanos struck in the 31st minute of a 1-1 draw with the Red Bulls in Harrison on Sept. 22 and fell to 3-6-5 in its past 16 matches, a stretch that includes an 0-2-1 mark in the Hudson River Derby.
NYCFC held possession for 62.7 percent of the match and mustered two shots on goal. It nearly tied it in the 81st minute when Malte Amundsen's long shot caromed off the crossbar.
Red Bulls goalkeeper Carlos Coronel made two saves for his 12th career clean sheet and 11th this season. He stopped Santiago Rodriguez from close range just before halftime and made a diving stop in the rain on Maxi Moralez in the 86th minute.
After Casseres Jr. scored, NYCFC had a golden opportunity to break its scoring drought in the 10th minute but Castellanos was ruled offside as Moralez was alone in the box.
The Red Bulls nearly went up 2-0 in the 41st minute but Omir Fernandez's right-footed shot sailed to the left. They nearly scored again in the 89th minute when Casseres Jr. right-footed shot from the center of the box sailed high.
--Field Level Media