Claudio Lopez scored a penalty kick in the third minute, after New York had a player ejected, and the Kansas City Wizards held fast for a 1-0 victory against the Red Bulls that moved the Wizards atop the Eastern Conference standings with 10 points, one ahead of Chicago.
The Red Bulls began the night with a streak of 237 consecutive minutes played without having allowed a goal. That streak came to an emphatic halt with Lopez’s second goal of the season.
New York’s Carlos Johnson was given a red card on the penalty kick-inducing play for denying a goal-scoring opportunity, forcing the Red Bulls to go a man down for the final 88 minutes.
The Wizards found fortune on the attack early as Josh Wolff played a ball just outside the area to Gomez, who was fouled by the Red Bulls’ Johnson just inside the box, and referee Michael Kennedy immediately sent him off. It was the second time in as many games Johnson has been sent off; he was ejected in the 78th minute of the scoreless draw in Houston two weeks ago.
On the penalty kick, Lopez made it look easy on a left-footed shot past goalkeeper Jon Conway, who guessed wrong and went to his left.
Kansas City goalkeeper Kevin Hartman kept it a frustrating evening for New York registering two saves on the night to record his third shutout this season.
Kansas City utilized the same starting personnel group for the fourth consecutive game and is now 2-0 this season when leading at halftime. They are 3-0-1 in their last four games.
Tthe Wizards return to action Sunday afternoon traveling to Toronto FC.