Red Bulls blank Fire 1-0 in 106-degree heat
ASSOCIATED PRESS July 18, 2012 8:10PM
HARRISON, NJ - JULY 18: Thierry Henry #14 of the New York Red Bulls and Dan Gargan #3 of the Chicago Fire collide at Red Bull Arena on July 18, 2012 in Harrison, New Jersey. Red Bulls defeated the Fire 1-0. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images for New York Red Bulls)
Updated: August 20, 2012 11:51AM
HARRISON, N.J. — Thierry Henry scored his first goal since April 28 to lead the New York Red Bulls to a 1-0 victory Wednesday against the Fire.
The weekday afternoon game was played in record-breaking 106-degree temperatures, the hottest July 18 recorded in New Jersey.
In the 71st minute, Henry blasted a left-footed shot that went off the right goalpost and into the net. It was his 10th goal of the season.
‘‘[Coach Hans Backe] asked me if I wanted to play [because of the weather],’’ Henry said. ‘‘I told him that I needed to play. I needed to get back into a rhythm
because I haven’t been playing much lately. I’m getting better, but to get better I need minutes. I hadn’t scored in a while, so I needed to do something to win the game.’’
The Red Bulls (10-5-5) are the only Major League Soccer team that is undefeated at home (6-0-3). The Fire (9-7-4), meanwhile, lost to the Red Bulls for only the second time in 11 games since 2008.
Newcomer Sebastian Le Toux made a perfect 35-yard cross to Henry, who settled the ball with his chest, then put it to his left foot. The shot was from a tough angle, but Henry managed to get it high off the post and past Fire goalie Sean Johnson for the lone goal of the game.
The Red Bulls survived a scare in the 84th minute, when defender Brandon Barklage alertly headed Fire defender Gonzalo Segares’ header out of danger after it appeared to beat goalie Bill Gaudette.
‘‘It was extremely hot, but we weren’t the only ones playing in it,’’ Fire forward Dominic Oduro said. ‘‘You can’t run 100 percent of the time on a day like this. The heat was really a factor.
Unfortunately, they were the ones who got the goal, and we couldn’t do anything.’’