[MLS] These weren't the hapless Red Bulls of years past. New York celebrated the opening of Red Bull Arena with a thoroughly deserved 3-1 win over Santos of Brazil Saturday night before a sellout crowd of 25,000 fans and finished undefeated in preseason with a 7-0-3 record.
One new Red Bull Joel Lindpere and two returning Red Bulls, Mike Petke and Dane Richards, scored in the first half.
Lindpere scored the first goal just 11 minutes into the match. Ghanaian Ibrahim Salou, a trialist who has spent most of his career in the Netherlands and Denmark, earned a free kick when he was taken down at the top of the box after a mazy run through the Santos defense.
Lindpere’s free kick was blocked by the wall, but he got to his own rebound and volleyed a left-footed blast past goalkeeper Fabio Costa.
The second goal came in the 43rd minute when Carl Robinson swung in a deep corner that Tim Ream knocked into the goal area, where Petke scored on a volley from close range.
Moments later, New York made it 3-0 when Sinisa Ubiparipovic stole the ball in the New York half and played it ahead to Macoumba Kandji, who played it wide to Richards, who scored with a 23-yard blast.
The Red Bulls controlled play through much of the second half but couldn't add to their lead. Santos' only goal came in second half stoppage time when Germano flicked home an Alex Sandro cross.
On a down note for the Red Bulls, Robinson (knee) and Richards (hamstring) left the game with injuries. They're already without star Juan Pablo Angel, who is sidelined with a knee injury.
March 20 in Harrison, N.J.
New York 3 Santos (Brazil) 1. Goals: Lindpere 11, Petke (Ream, Robinson) 43, Richards (Kandji) 45; Germano (Alex Santos) 90.
New York -- Coundoul (Sutton 61), Hall, Miller, Ream, Petke (Boyens 80), Hall, Ubiparipovic, Lindpere (Tchani 85), Robinson (Agudelo 46), Richards (Sassano 61), Kandji (da Luz 73), Salou (Wolyniec 67)
Santos – Fabio Costa (Raphael 86), Aguiar, Alex Sandro (Wesley Santos 64), George Lucas, Alan Santos (Jefferson 82), Luciano Castan, Neymar, Germano, Breitner (Diego Monar 46), Giovanni (Marcel 46), Zezinho (Crystain 80)
Referee: Jorge Gonzalez.