HARRISON, N.J. — The Colorado Rapids and New York Red Bulls played to a seesaw 2-2 draw on Wednesday night at Red Bull Arena where neither team held a lead for longer than two minutes. All four goals were scored in a six-minute span burst of offensive brilliance in a first half marked by dueling midfield play.
A Jeff Larentowicz brace was equalled by goals from Thierry Henry and Luke Rodgers as New York ran their winless streak to four matches with the draw. For Colorado, now 4-3-5 on the season, it was their fourth straight draw. The Red Bulls maintained their hold on second place in the Eastern Conference with the tie giving them a 4-2-5 mark on the season.
Colorado got on the board first in the 27th minute via the penalty spot. Contesting a pass into the area, Rapids forward Andre Akpan was fouled by Red Bulls left back Roy Miller and referee Jorge Gonzalez, looking towards his lineman, quickly pointed to the spot indicating a penalty.
Goalkeeper Greg Sutton saved Larentowicz’s penalty kick, but the rebound fell to the Colorado midfielder who coolly side-footed it home with his left foot for a 1-0 lead.
The lead didn’t last long as the Red Bulls answered right back just two minutes later.
With space down the left flank, Joel Lindpere fed a ball to a streaking Dwayne De Rosario at the top corner of the penalty area. The Canadian international slotted a pass into the center of the box and to a wide-open Henry, who right footed a shot past a flat-footed Matt Pickens for his sixth goal of the season.
Colorado grabbed a 2-1 lead minutes later via the Red Bulls Achilles’ heel, as for a fourth straight game, New York conceded a goal on a set piece.
In the 33rd minute, Larentowicz took a free kick from 25 yards out after a foul by Henry. The veteran midfielder hit a laser from the right flank across the penalty area that somehow went through the wall and past a stunned Sutton.
The Red Bulls didn’t stay behind long, equalizing a minute later when a Roy Miller pass found Luke Rodgers cutting towards the area with a full head of steam. Miller’s threaded ball was chipped by Rodgers over on-rushing Colorado ‘keeper Matt Pickens.
Both teams had chances at the win in the second 45.
In the 66th minute, Rodgers went in alone on goal off a ball over the top from De Rosario, but the forward’s attempt at a chip was acrobatically saved by Pickens. Then in the 77th minute, a Conor Casey shot that beat Sutton was cleared off the line by Tim Ream.
New York leave the comfy confines of Red Bull Arena as they travel to Vancouver this Saturday. The Rapids host Sporting Kansas City in their own Saturday match.
COL -- Jeff Larentowicz 2 (unassisted) 27
NY -- Thierry Henry 6 (Dwayne De Rosario 3, Joel Lindpere 2) 29
COL -- Jeff Larentowicz 3 (Pablo Mastroeni 2) 32
NY -- Luke Rodgers 4 (Roy Miller 1) 33
COL -- Ross LaBauex (caution; Reckless Foul) 10
NY -- Thierry Henry (caution; Reckless Foul) 31
NY -- Carlos Mendes (caution; Reckless Foul) 44
Colorado Rapids -- Matt Pickens, Kosuke Kimura, Marvell Wynne, Drew Moor, Anthony Wallace, Sanna Nyassi, Wells Thompson, Pablo Mastroeni (Joseph Nane 71), Jeff Larentowicz, Ross LaBauex (Quincy Amarikwa 78), Andre Akpan (Conor Casey 65).
Substitutes Not Used: Mike Holody, Tyrone Marshall, Scott Palguta, Steward Ceus.
New York Red Bulls -- Greg Sutton, Jan Gunnar Solli, Tim Ream, Carlos Mendes, Roy Miller, Mehdi Ballouchy, Dwayne De Rosario, Teemu Tainio, Joel Lindpere, Luke Rodgers, Thierry Henry (Juan Agudelo 87).
Substitutes Not Used: Austin Da Luz, Corey Hertzog, Matt Kassel, Stephen Keel, John Rooney, Bouna Coundoul.
Referee: Jorge Gonzalez
Referee's Assistants: Greg Barkey; Bill Dittmar
4th Official: Jose Carlos Rivero
Time of Game: 1:51
Weather: Partly Cloudy and 79 degrees