Oct 5, 2013, 9:17 PM EDT
New York seemed to be on cruise control Saturday at Red Bull Arena, about to become Major League Soccer’s first, official playoff participant on Saturday – when it all went sideways … about four different ways.
Mike Petke’s team did enough to secure its playoff spot, but sure made hard work it after leading most of the way.
First there was a controversial penalty kick decision that allowed New England to tie in the 80th minute. Then there was an ejection that left New England with 10 men.
Then Diego Fagundez scored what looked like a huge, dramatic game-winner for the visiting Revolution. And that was while a man down, remember.
And then Tim Cahill scored a 97th minute equalizer – the goal that puts New York into the playoffs.
It was certainly no ordinary night. The backdrop was framed with drama: the Red Bulls needed only a draw to clinch their post-season spot and take another step toward an Eastern Conference regular season championship.
They seemed on their way to getting in with a win (surely the preferred way) but a controversial handball on New York’s Jamison Olave changed the game and breathed fresh life into New England’s playoff hopes. If Olave – who was having an excellent match, helping generally prevent New England’s Premier League-bound striker Juan Agudelo from being dangerous – got much arm on Saer Sene’s shot, it wasn’t much.
Olave appeared to block the ball legally with his upper chest area or front part of the shoulder.
Minutes later, Revolution midfielder Andy Dorman was ejected for a nasty tackle, damaging the visitors’ chances of getting a second, late goal.
Fagundez’s late goal gave New England a 2-1 win, but Cahill’s late, late header put a punctuation mark on a wild, wild conclusion. Jay Heaps’ Revolution may now have to win all three remaining matches, including two on the road, to make the playoffs.
New York was in control over the first 45 minutes, as New England lost the midfield and then fell behind on Fabian Espincola’s goal, one that was equal measures clinical finishing and defensive blunder.
If New England was fairly harmless in the first 45 minutes, the urgency kicked in for the second 45. By early in the second half, New England was pushing rather desperately, getting lots of numbers into the attack, well aware of what it meant to pull out of Red Bull Arena with no points.
Winning at Red Bull Arena was always a tall order; it’s something the club has not accomplished in New York since 2007. Plus, the Red Bulls were unbeaten in their previous eight at home.
Things got a lot tougher for the visitors in the 14th minute, when a careless moment from rookie Steven Caldwell, who has generally been a steady midfield presence this year, turned into the Red Bulls goal by Espindola.
The full highlight package:
Mar 14, 2014, 8:35 PM EDT
“The club regards the release of such a statement on social media as highly unprofessional and will make a further statement when appropriate.”
Mar 14, 2014, 8:25 PM EDT
Whether or not you buy the study that ranks MLS the No. 7 league in the world, above the Eredivisie, you’re duty-bound to ask yourself whether you were as excited for big-goal MLS seasons?
Mar 14, 2014, 7:41 PM EDT
“You can’t claim to be one of the best fan bases and the flagship team of the league and get shown up like this,” Gomez said of L.A.
Mar 14, 2014, 6:20 PM EDT
Nottingham Forest announced the news today regarding the 26-times capped American, 25.
Mar 14, 2014, 5:44 PM EDT
Packwood/Spector vs. Onyewu and Torres vs. Beasley/Orozco on tap for a busy weekend of Americans Abroad.
Norwich City’s Chris Hughton is the only black manager left among English elite, and he’s speaking out
Mar 14, 2014, 4:47 PM EDT
Statistics in a BBC report say that 25 percent of all players in England are non-white, which certainly is a markedly-higher percentage the one manager per dozens of clubs.
Mar 14, 2014, 4:35 PM EDT
A personal look at the Beautiful Game.
Is it that nuts to buy into Jamaica using Usain Bolt in 2018 World Cup qualifying? The coach is interested…
Mar 14, 2014, 4:02 PM EDT
He’s faster than the competition, 6-foot-5 and may just have some soccer skill, so…
Mar 14, 2014, 3:25 PM EDT
A healthy Michu will certainly make Swansea a better club for its relegation fight, but how much better remains to be seen.
Mar 14, 2014, 3:04 PM EDT
Where and how to watch every PL game live during Week 30:
Mar 14, 2014, 2:59 PM EDT
After failing to appeal his five match ban for using the ‘quenelle’ gesture, the French striker took to social media to announce the end of his contract with West Brom.
Mar 14, 2014, 2:15 PM EDT
Colombia should take care when assessing Radamel Falcao’s fitness, as rushing a player back from serious injury could have long-term consequences.
Mar 14, 2014, 1:31 PM EDT
USMNT stars Clint Dempsey and Michael Bradley are set to face off on Saturday, when Toronto open their MLS season at CenturyLink Field.
Mar 14, 2014, 1:04 PM EDT
The defender underwent knee surgery on Thursday to resolve an injury picked up in November, and will now miss the rest of the season.
Mar 14, 2014, 12:30 PM EDT
PST speak exclusively with TFC’s captain, as the most-anticipated season in franchise history awaits. Can Toronto finally succeed?
Mar 14, 2014, 11:46 AM EDT
Everton haven’t had the best 2014, but they’ll be looking to start a final push toward Europe by collecting all three points against Cardiff City.
Mar 14, 2014, 11:01 AM EDT
He’s yet to be offered a new contract from Arsenal, but the manager did dismiss speculation that he could be on his way to La Liga.
Mar 14, 2014, 10:07 AM EDT
Man City have had a rough few weeks, but will be determined to turn things around at KC Stadium, where Hull have lost their last two games.
Mar 14, 2014, 9:18 AM EDT
Tim Sherwood lost his composure once again, this time after Tottenham lost to Benfica on Thursday.
Mar 14, 2014, 6:50 AM EDT
West Ham were perfect through the month of February, while Sturridge’s five goals helped Liverpool rise up to second in the standings.
- Americans Abroad Preview: Yank vs. Yank match-ups in England and Mexico 0
- Is it that nuts to buy into Jamaica using Usain Bolt in 2018 World Cup qualifying? The coach is interested… 2
- WATCH: Premier League TV Schedule – Week 30 1
- Steven Caldwell: “Sky’s the limit” for Toronto FC’s sensational rebuild 2
- Premier League Preview: Hull City vs. Manchester City 0
- Van Persie is ‘very happy’ at Manchester United, would ‘be delighted’ to extend his contract 0
- Tijuana Xolos Fans' Bus Gets Attacked
- Suarez, Sturridge Lead Liverpool Assault on Man United Back-line
- D'Alessandro Named Best Foreign Player in Brazil
- RSL Looks to Snap Quakes' Home Streak
- Toronto FC not Taking any Chances With Gilberto in Seattle
- Arsenal Set to Storm Tottenham Bastion
- Petke, Red Bulls looking ahead, not back at last year or last week
- Madrid Aim to Stretch Lead to 6 Points in La Liga
- San Jose: A Stadium of The People, For The People, By The People
- Big Sam: From Must Sack to Manager of the Month