HARRISON, N.J. (AP) – Fabian Espindola broke a scoreless tie in the 60th minute with his first goal since April 20, and Jonny Steele scored with two minutes left in regulation, giving the New York Red Bulls a 2-0 victory over the Houston Dynamo on Sunday.
The victory was the first for New York (8-6-4) since defeating Los Angeles on May 19. The Red Bulls were 0-2-1 during that span, which included a three-week hiatus.
The Red Bulls moved within one point of first-place Montreal in the Eastern Conference.
Houston (6-6-5) remained winless in its last seven matches, going 0-4-3.
Espindola, who had two goals in the season opener, got behind the Dynamo defense after Eric Alexander fed him with a perfect lead. He made a solid 20-yard run with the ball, then touched a left-footed shot past goalkeeper Tally Hall.
Steele then put the game away in the 88th minute when he took a return pass from Thierry Henry and buried it hard into the upper right hand corner of the net. It was Steele's second goal of the season.
Luis Robles made three saves for his fifth shutout of the season.
The first half was sluggish, with neither team getting many scoring chances.
The Dynamo had the first true chance five minutes in when Will Bruin moved in on goal, but Robles came out of the net to snare the ball.
Ricardo Clark had an opportunity for the Dynamo, but his right-footed blast was stopped by Robles.
Henry threatened in the 27th minute off a pretty give-and-go from Tim Cahill, but Henry fired right of the goal.
In the 35th minute, Kofi Sarkodie hit a left-footed shot that seemed to confuse and handcuff Robles, but the keeper was able to somehow punch it aside.
The final scoring chance of the half came to Henry, whose left-footed shot seemed to be deflected by Hall over the crossbar in the 42nd minute.
Houston had the first scoring opportunity of the second half, when Giles Barnes unleashed a left-footed shot that Robles got his left hand on in the 47th minute.
Three minutes later, Henry had his best chance when he went in alone with the ball, but defender Corey Ashe came from behind to distract Henry just enough, and his sliding tackle took Henry down. The ball beat Hall, but trickled wide right.
Henry remained down and needed medical attention, but returned to action four minutes later.
In the 76th minute, Barnes got off a shot that got through the Red Bulls defense, but Robles dived to save it.