Marc Rzatkowski scored the tying and tie-breaking goals in a span of seven minutes in the second half as the New York Red Bulls beat Sporting Kansas City 3-2 Saturday night at Red Bull Arena.
Rzatkowski scored his first two MLS goals in spectacular fashion in the 72nd and 79th minute after entering the game in the 60th minute for Alejandro Romero Gamarra.
New York scored at least three goals for the sixth time in nine home games and helped new manager Chris Armas get his first career win as a coach after taking over last week for Jesse Marsch.
The most productive night of Rzatkowski’s 10-game career helped the Red Bulls improve to 7-1-1 at home this season, on a humid 89-degree night that saw New York look sluggish and a step slow at times.
The equalizer came in the 72nd minute, when Rzatkowski finished a play from Tyler Adams by one-timing the pass with his left foot from the top of the box just by the diving attempt of Sporting goaltender Tim Melia. The go-ahead score occurred when Rzatkowski’s fast shot from a similar spot in the box eluded Melia’s fingertips on a diving attempt and landed in the right corner of the net.
The German midfielder’s highlight goals came after Roger Espinoza scored a memorable goal of his own in the 51st minute for SKC.
Espinoza was alone above the box and stunned the crowd with an incredible left-footed shot from about 25 yards out that snuck in above the leaping attempt of New York goaltender Luis Robles. It was the sixth career MLS regular-season goal and first since June 24, 2017 for the Honduran.
Bradley Wright-Phillips scored his 12th goal of the season — second most in MLS — in the fourth minute for New York, and Johnny Russell tallied in the eighth for Sporting KC. Graham Zusi set up the first two Sporting goals.
Robles made two saves, while Melia stopped three shots.
Wright-Phillips made it 1-0 with a left-footed shot from outside the box into the vacated net. He initially was ruled offsides after getting by two defenders, but a video review overturned the call.
Sporting KC tied the game four minutes later by completing a nifty three-way passing play through both sides of the box after a turnover by New York’s Sean Davis. Zusi gained possession after taking Jaylin Lindsey’s pass and whipped the ball to Russell, who simply lifted the right-footed shot over Robles from the center of the box.
Sporting Kansas City’s Felipe Gutierrez returned from a sports hernia when he was subbed in during the 78th minute. He had been sidelined for 10 weeks.