New York City FC moved within one point of first place in the Eastern Conference after a 2-1 victory over the visiting New York Red Bulls on Saturday.
The lead held despite a Ronald Matarrita red card in stoppage time that reduced NYCFC (13-5-8, 47 points) to 10 men in the final minutes of play.
NYCFC has won its past three games, and it improved to 8-1-4 in home games this season.
Manhattan native Alex Muyl opened the scoring in the Hudson River Derby match, putting the Red Bulls ahead in the 10th minute. A turnover in NYCFC's end led to Kaku and Muyl combining on a give-and-go play that resulted in Muyl's third goal of the season.
After falling behind, NYCFC mostly dominated the next 50 minutes of play, scoring twice and coming close on several other occasions. Valentin Castellanos and Heber combined for three scoring chances that hit the goalpost and crossbar.
Moralez's penalty kick put NYCFC on the board, and Heber avenged his earlier goalpost denial with his team-leading 13th goal of the season. The striker put a back-heel touch on an Anton Tinnerholm pass in the box, taking advantage of some light marking from Red Bulls defenders.
The defeat cost the Red Bulls (12-11-5, 41 points) a chance to move ahead of NYCFC in the East standings. The Red Bulls continue an inconsistent run of form that has seen the club post a 3-4-1 record over its past eight matches.
Josh Sims made his Red Bulls debut, entering the match as a substitute in the 65th minute. Recently acquired on a loan deal from Southampton of the Premier League, Sims almost immediately picked up his first MLS assist, passing to Daniel Royer for a shot that was stopped by NYCFC goalkeeper Sean Johnson.
Matarrita and Alexander Ring will both miss NYCFC's next game on Aug. 31 at Vancouver.
Ring received a yellow card against the Red Bulls, and he now faces a caution accumulation suspension.