A choppy first half with neither team finding their rhythm ended with the teams tied at one apiece on two rather strange goals.
The first came from a direct free kick in the 26th minute when the speedy Dane Richards bested Jonathan Bornstein yet again down the right hand side to draw the foul.
Dave van den Bergh sent the resulting kick curling rather softly into the far corner of the net with Brad Guzan uncharacteristically rooted to the turf as a Chivas USA and Red Bull player attempted to get to it in front of him.
Chivas USA then came close twice within two minutes, Hunter Freeman clearing a chip off the line, then Claudio Suarez seeing a shot from six yards blocked. Chivas USA players appealed for hand ball, but it was clear the ball hit Andrew Boyens arm that was down by his side.
The teams ended the half with five shots apiece.
Chivas USA drew level in first half stoppage time, an errant New York free kick sent behind a Red Bull defender and Ante Razov, with only the goalkeeper to beat, opportunistically seizing on it for a relatively simple goal.