SANTA CLARA, California — Estonian midfielder Joel Lindpere scored in the 55th minute as the New York Red Bulls beat the San Jose Earthquakes 1-0 on Saturday in the first match of Major League Soccer's home-and-away Eastern Conference semifinal.
Lindpere scored after the Earthquakes were unable to clear a cross from Juan Pablo Angel. The ball fell to the feet of Lindpere, who carefully placed a low shot to the far post and beat goalkeeper Jon Busch.
Lindpere almost put New York ahead in the 44th minute when he got the ball 9 yards away from net with Busch off his line, but San Jose's Jason Hernandez was able to clear Lindpere's low strike off the line.
San Jose nearly equalized it the 83rd minute when leading scorer Chris Wondolowski banged a volley off the ground. Eduardo had a good look at the uncovered rebound, but his shot caromed off the post.
The return match is Thursday night in Harrison, New Jersey.
At Frisco, Texas, Eric Avila scored in the 88th minute as FC Dallas beat defending MLS Cup champion Real Salt Lake 2-1 in the opening match of the Western Conference semifinal.
Fabian Espindola scored for Salt Lake in the fifth minute, and Jeff Cunningham tied it in the 44th minute.
Real Salt Lake had its unbeaten streak snapped at 14 games
The return match is next Saturday at Sandy, Utah.