HARRISON, N.J. — Defending Jefferson Savarino in the second half, New York Red Bulls' Michael Murillo knocked the ball off of the Real Salt Lake attacker and out of bounds. The referee got the call wrong and signaled for a RSL throw-in.
But there was no protesting the call from Murillo. Only a big smile. That's because his team had just torn apart the visitors for three goals in six minutes on its way to a 4-0 victory Saturday night at Red Bull Arena.
New York scored goals in the 58th, 59th and 64th minutes as RSL fell on the road for the second straight time and sixth time in nine games this season. The team's only wins away from home were against FC Cincinnati and Colorado Rapids, teams with the worst record in the Eastern and Western conferences, respectively.
The first goal came when Murillo's cross across the 6-yard box skidded off Aaron Herrera's foot and then Marcelo Silva's midsection and into the net past the wrong-footed Nick Rimando.
Just a minute later, Silva and Nedum Onuoha lost track of Daniel Royer. He beat Rimando after Alejandro Romero found him unmarked.
And five minutes after that Murillo put the game out of reach with his first goal of the season.
"We lost our communication," RSL attacker Sebastián Saucedo said after the game on the television broadcast. "If you lose communication, they punish us.
"We had the opportunity to score. If we could go up 2-0 at half, it changes the game."
Saucedo had one of the best chances to break the 0-0 deadlock in the first half. His 37th-minute shot was saved by Red Bulls goalkeeper Luis Robles at full stretch.
RSL also had some good chances early in the second half. Corey Baird got behind the defense in the 49th minute, but his pass to Sam Johnson was blocked. Just minutes later, Johnson had a free volley from just outside the goal area, but he pulled it wide.
It was a disappointing return for Mike Petke, who was coaching his first match back in New Jersey since being fired by the Red Bulls in 2015.
The RSL coach didn't use his second or third substitute as his team limped to the final whistle. Meanwhile two NYRB subs, Omir Fernandez and Andreas Ivan, combined to score a fourth goal. It was Fernandez's second goal in two matches.
Kyle Beckerman returned to the field to RSL for the first time since April 28. He was subbed in at halftime for Nick Besler, who suffered a knock to the head and was taken out for precautionary reasons, KMYU's Samantha Yarock reported.
Besler wasn't the only one to have to be replaced because of injury. Center referee Armando Villarreal had to be replaced by Elton Garcia in the second half after an undisclosed injury.
Due to Major League Soccer's international break, RSL will only play one match in the next three weeks — a U.S. Open Cup fourth-round game against Los Angeles FC on June 11.