A furious offensive push in the waning minutes saw the New England Revolution score twice, but a last-gasp Tim Cahill goal allowed the New York Red Bulls to steal a point late in a wild 2-2 draw at Red Bull Arena on Saturday.
After a 14th-minute Fabian Espindola goal put the Revolution in an early hole, the guests grabbed one back when Lee Nguyen converted an 85th-minute penalty attempt. After Andy Dorman was sent off a minute later, the Revolution found a way to score a short-handed goal when Diego Fagundez struck in the 90+1 minute. But Cahill’s header in the 90+7 minute sealed the draw, and allowed the Red Bulls to clinch a postseason berth.
With the draw, the Revolution (11-11-9, 42 points) moved up to seventh place with three games left in the regular season. For the Red Bulls (15-9-8, 53 points), the draw allowed them to become the first Eastern Conference side to punch its ticket to the postseason.
What it means: This will be a tough one to stomach for the Revolution. Espindola’s 14th-minute strike put the Revolution in an early ditch, and they spent much of the match trying to figure out a way to not only stop the Red Bulls, but to fight back and equalize. The Revolution did just that in the 85th minute, albeit in controversial fashion. Referee Fotis Bazakos awarded them a generous penalty call after Jamison Olave was called for a hand ball inside the box. Lee Nguyen stepped up and slotted it through, but Dorman’s straight red card seemed like it would put the brakes on the Revolution’s search for a second goal. However, when Fagundez found the back of the net a minute into stoppage time, it appeared the Revolution were poised to get their first win at Red Bull Area, and at an opportune time. But Cahill’s header seconds before the final whistle doomed the Revolution to a second straight draw at a time when they needed three points to keep pace with the Eastern Conference playoff race. With the draw, the Revolution can only hope that the out-of-town scoreboard is kinder than it was on Friday, when the Fire and the Dynamo put more distance on the Revolution as the season approaches its final three weeks.
Stat of the game: Nguyen’s 85th-minute goal was the first scored by a Revolution player at Red Bull Arena since a 54th-minute Zak Boggs strike that came in a 2-1 loss on June 10, 2011.
Agudelo returns: Juan Agudelo was among the Revolution starting XI for the first time in more than a month. The 20-year-old striker, who suffered a hamstring injury during a 1-1 draw on Aug. 30 at Toronto, made a pair of cameos since then, but hadn’t been healthy to return to the lineup until Saturday. Incidentally, Saturday’s match also marked the first time Agudelo, a former Red Bulls Homegrown Player, faced off against his old team in league play.
Davies unavailable: Former Boston College product Charlie Davies was not among the Revolution’s game-day 18. The Revolution acquired Davies via loan on Aug. 9, but he has struggled to find playing time. Since arriving in Foxborough, Davies has been limited to four substitute appearances for a combined 23 minutes on the pitch. His last appearance came in the latter stages of a 3-2 loss at Chicago on Sept. 14.
Next up: The Revolution hit the road again next Saturday when they face the Montreal Impact at Stade Saputo. Kickoff is set for 2:30 p.m. ET.