HARRISON, N.J. – If the New York Red Bulls had forgotten about the San Jose Earthquakes’ never-say-die attitude, they were reminded on Saturday.
Steven Lenhart picked a good time to score his first goal of the season, netting an 85th-minute equalizer that made amends for his first-half gaffe and gave the Earthquakes a 1-1 draw in a physical affair at Red Bull Arena on Saturday night.
Lenhart’s tally came following a deflected cross from the right flank, with the veteran forward clipping the ball up to himself before unleashing a hard volley that Luis Robles could not stop. New York had chances afterwards to find the go-ahead goal, but they were unable to capitalize on wasteful night in front of the 20,001 fans.
San Jose's late goal negated Bradley Wright-Phillips’ first-half penalty kick, and saw the Earthquakes move to 4-8-5 while pushing New York to 5-6-9.
Wright-Phillips initially put the Red Bulls in front by converting a penalty kick in the 33rd minute that was given to the hosts after Lenhart clearly handled a ball in the area. The hosts never put the game out of reach, however, and that came back to haunt them.
Despite committing 21 fouls to the Earthquakes' seven, the Red Bulls created a number of quality opportunities before Lenhart found the back of the net. Wright-Phillips had a golden look in the 81st minute to score an insurance goal and add to his league-leading 17, but San Jose goalkeeper Jon Busch denied the English striker on a one-on-one opportunity.
Lenhart punished the Red Bulls for that, hitting a well-taken strike that prevent San Jose from dropping a fifth straight league game.
New York had chances to find a late winner, but Lloyd Sam saw his shot in stoppage time cleared off the goal line. The Red Bulls could have had a penalty kick awarded to them in the final minute of the match as well when Peguy Luyindula appeared to take a kick to the face, but match official Jose Carlos Rivero gave the French midfielder a yellow card for simulation.
The Earthquakes quickly return to action, hosting the Chicago Fire in a cross-conference match on Wednesday. The Red Bulls, meanwhile, enter a week-long break from MLS play but will receive a visit from Arsenal in a friendly on July 26.
Franco Panizo covers the New York Red Bulls for MLSsoccer.com. He can be reached by email at Franco8813@gmail.com.
MLSsoccer.com Men of the Match
|Rank||Player||What We Saw|
|1||Steven Lenhart||The league's leading heel overcame a first-half howler – and plenty of physical abuse from RBNY all night – to net an instinctive equalizer.|
|2||Luis Robles||The home fans will consider this three points lost, but if it wasn't for their GK's quality saves, they might've come away with nothing at all.|
|3||Sam Cronin||Surprise: The Quakes actually played some pass-and-move soccer tonight, and much of it was inspired by their tireless central midfielder.|