On a night that started out looking like it would be another simple New York Red Bulls home victory, a wild final 20 minutes saw multiple lead changes and a last-minute equalizer that sent Red Bull Arena into hysterics.
The New England Revolution shook off being dominated for the better part of 70 minutes to score a pair of goals and take an improbable 2-1 lead, but a late header from Tim Cahill helped the Red Bulls salvage a 2-2 draw on Saturday night.
A Lee Nguyen penalty kick goal and a Diego Fagundez finish gave the Revs a 2-1 lead in the final minutes of regulation, despite the fact New England was down a man after an Andy Dorman red card. The Red Bulls kept on pressing and found their late equalizer when a corner kick was punched out toward Cahill and he placed a perfect header over Revs goalkeeper Matt Reis.
The Red Bulls had controlled play for much of the night, and held a 1-0 lead courtesy of a Fabian Espindola goal in the 19th minute. The match turned on a handball called against Jamison Olave in the penalty area in the 85th minute. Replays appeared to show the ball striking Olave's shoulder, but the Revs still drew the PK, and Nguyen converted it to tie the score.
The Revs went down a man just a minute later after Dorman was whistled for a studs-up challenge on Eric Alexander, but that didn't stop them from finding a go-ahead goal in the 91st minute. Fagundez pounced on a bad pass from David Carney before netting the goal to make the score 2-1.
The Red Bulls looked shell-shocked by the two late goals, but mustered one final push to set up Cahill's equalizer. The Red Bulls tied the score when Reis slapped away a corner kick to an unmarked Cahill, who calmly placed a looping header into the net in the dying seconds of the match.
The draw leaves the Red Bulls two points ahead of Sporting Kansas City for first place in the Eastern Conference, with Sporting holding a game in hand. The dropped points at home do put a dent in the Red Bulls' hopes of securing the Supporters' Shield.
For New England, the road draw can be considered a good result against a top team like New York, but seeing a lead vanish on the final play of the match will leave the Revs feeling shattered as they sit a point behind the Chicago Fire for the final playoff spot in the East.
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