The New England Revolution scrapped their way to a 2-2 draw at RFK Stadium Saturday night, denying D.C. United a much-needed win despite two impressive goals from Jaime Moreno.
The Black-and-Red dominated possession, outshot the Revs 15-9 and looked to be headed for a win after Moreno's classy finish in the 56th minute made it 2-1. But second-half substitute Andy Dorman shocked the crowd of 13,298 with an equalizer five minutes from full time, keeping the Revs just two points behind D.C. for the third place spot in the Eastern Conference.
"It's disappointing, but life goes on," said United coach Peter Novak afterwards. "We cannot give up goals so easily. You can talk about tactics, you can talk about substitutions, but if we are going to give up goals like we did today, it's just too easy."
Despite wet, sloppy conditions caused by Tropical Storm Charley's heavy rains, D.C. looked confident in the early going, forcing New England into a defensive posture and stifling Revs goal-scorer Taylor Twellman.
But veteran Steve Ralston, playing in a defensive role this night, snuck into the D.C. box in the 38th minute and beat two defenders before slotting a pretty finish past Troy Perkins to make it 1-0 Revolution.
United quickly responded, swarming into the New England box and leveling through Moreno's close-range tap-in one minute later.
The crafty Bolivian was at it again after the break, running onto Dema Kovalenko's well-placed through ball and waltzing around Revs 'keeper Matt Reis before shooting into an empty net to make it 2-1.
D.C. made two defensive substitutions and tried to salt the game away, but their inability to deal with New England's set pieces betrayed them in the end. Shalrie Joseph knocked down Richie Baker's corner kick in the 85th minute, and Dorman took advantage of slack marking to slap home his second goal of the year.
"The ball shouldn't be able to hit the ground (in the box) like it did," said Perkins. "We should've gotten stuck in there. Late in the game, you get tired, especially in conditions like this, but there's no excuse for getting beat to the ball."
New England even came within inches of a shocking victory in injury time, when Noonan skipped past Ezra Hendrickson and shot just wide of goal with only Perkins to beat.
While United felt robbed of a win, Revs coach Steve Nicol was unapologetic.
"They had a few chances, but we had five or six as well," he said. "We're happy with a point after being behind."
There was more bad news for United, as inspirational midfielder Ben Olsen received a yellow card that will force him to miss next week's match at Columbus, which kicks off a three-game road swing, including a rematch with the Revs at Gillette Stadium on Aug. 28.
The Revolution will host Kansas City on Saturday.
After the match, D.C. United unveiled its newest signing, 29-year-old Argentine midfielder Christian Gomez. Gomez, an attacking midfielder, joins the Black-and-Red from Argentine First Division side Arsenal.
Gomez has tallied 79 goals in 349 matches during his 13-year career, which has included stints at Independiente, Nueva Chicago, and Argentinos Juniors.
Charles Boehm is a contributor to MLSnet.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Soccer or its clubs.