HARRISON, N.J. — It was a game of two halves for the New England Revolution.
The New York Red Bulls had a defender sent off and were down a goal at halftime, but second-half goals from Dax McCarty and Bradley Wright-Phillips secured a 2-1 comeback win for the home side at Red Bull Arena, extending New England’s winless streak in New Jersey to 10 games.
“Two completely different halves,” Revolution coach Jay Heaps said. “The first half, I couldn’t have been prouder of the guys. Second half, was really disappointing. We didn’t react well. I thought we were going to come out flying in the second half and unfortunately we let a pretty easy goal in and we never recovered.”
Charlie Davies opened the scoring in the 20th minute. The Manchester, N.H., native and former Boston College star headed home a Teal Bunbury cross from close range to give the Revolution the lead. The goal was Davies’s first since Sept. 10, 2011, when he scored a hat trick for D.C. United.
“Overjoyed and over the moon getting my first goal in a while,” Davies said. “Now you can play a little bit more freely when you don’t have that pressure of getting that first goal. It was a great ball from Teal and I just had to make sure I put it on target. I’m not the best at headers but I was able to keep it on goal. It was a great start to the game.”
The Revolution (8-12-2, 26 points) had two opportunities for penalties in the first half. Davies went to the ground after being clipped by Ibrahim Sekagya in the second minute of the game, but referee Allen Chapman gave the Revolution forward a yellow card for diving.
Midfielder Kelyn Rowe also could have received a a penalty kick when Chris Duvall body-checked him, but Chapman saw it differently and allowed play to go on.
Moments later, Rowe had a chance to double the Revolution’s lead. In the 35th minute he curled a shot from outside the penalty area just wide of goal.
The Red Bulls (6-6-10, 28 points) had their best first-half chance to tie in the 42d minute when Roy Miller passed to Wright-Phillips near the Revolution’s goal with only keeper Bobby Shuttleworth to beat.
Shuttleworth came off his line, but Wright-Phillips got around the sprawled keeper with a clear sight of goal. The Revolution were saved when captain Jose Goncalves recovered and cleared the ball for a corner.
The Red Bulls went down to 10 men after defender Matt Miazga was shown a straight red card for a late sliding challenge on midfielder Lee Nguyen right before halftime.
The shorthanded Red Bulls came out of halftime aggressive and tied two minutes after the restart.
Eric Alexander laid a pass off to McCarty at the edge of the Revolution penalty area, where McCarty chipped a shot over Shuttleworth for his second goal of the season.
“It was unfortunate that even up a man we relaxed a bit and Dax scored one of those brilliant goals that takes the wind out of your sails and I don’t think we ever recovered from that,” Davies said.
In the 63d minute the Red Bulls broke the deadlock when Lloyd Sam broke down the right wing and put Wright-Phillips in on goal. Wright-Phillips scored his MLS-high 18th of the season, one short of the club record with 12 games left to play.
“The second half tonight was perhaps — and this is saying a lot because of our success last year — perhaps the best half in my time as a coach, and we were a man down,” Red Bulls coach Mike Petke said.
New England pressed for an equalizer. Heaps brought on attacking players Daigo Kobayashi, Patrick Mullins, and Diego Fagundez from the bench in the second half to try and get a tying goal. But the team couldn’t seem to click in the second half.
“At the end of the day they showed better football,” Revolution defender AJ Soares said. “We didn’t string passes together. We didn’t defend well. We didn’t help each other defend, didn’t create a lot of great chances. Overall, just a complete, huge, level below what they did in the second half.”
The Revolution have a bye week before their next match, a home game against the Portland Timbers on Aug. 16.