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Major League Soccer

MLS Game Reviews

October 5

New York Red Bulls 2 New England Revolution 2

In a game that had everything the Red Bulls extended their unbeaten run to six matches and clinched a playoff spot, though their lead at the head of the Eastern Conference has being trimmed to two points. Fabian Espindola gave the hosts the lead after 14 minutes. Jonathan Steele closed down well resulting in Espindola being able to intercept Scott Caldwell’s back pass before dribbling into the penalty area and depositing it past Matt Reis in the Revs goal. As timed passed it looked like that single tally would settle the outcome, but nobody could have seen the mayhem that was about to ensue.

It all started 5 minutes from time when the visitors were awarded a controversial penalty. Referee Fotis Bazakos adjudged that Jámison Olave had handled the ball despite replays showing that the ball had struck his shoulder. Lee Nguyen shrugged off the New York appeals to convert past Luis Robles. 1 minute later and New England’s joy turned to despair as Andy Dorman, who had only being on the field since 11 minutes into the second-half as a replacement for Caldwell was sent from the field with a straight red-card for a tackle on fellow substitute Eric Alexander, who had come on for Lloyd Sam 15 minutes earleir. Undaunted the Revs pressed forward and 1 minute into stoppage time they looked like they had grabbed an unlikely winner.

Defender David Carney lost possession and Jerry Bengtson, who entered the action only 12 minutes before in place of Juan Agudelo, set Diego Fagundez through on goal and he calmly slipped the ball under Robles. There was however one final twist to this game. 7 minutes into stoppage time and with the away side only now having nine men on the pitch as Andrew Farrell was on the sideline receiving treatment to an injury, Tim Cahill scored for the second game running to snatched a point for his team as he headed home a another Steele cross to send the stadium into a frenzy. The point for New England moved them to seventh in the East three points off the final playoff birth.


Columbus Crew 0 Sporting Kansas City 1

Sporting got back to winning ways as they completed a sweep of their season series with the Crew to move within two points of the summit in the East. Ike Opara got the all important tally after 17 minutes. The hosts defender Chad Marshall could only half-clear a corner and it fell to the feet of Graham Zusi who played a ball to the far side of the goal which Opara headed in past keeper Matt Lampson.

There was some controversy as to whether the goal should have being allowed to stand as somehow in the time it took for the ball to go from Zusi’s foot to Opara’s head Crew defender Augustin Viana, who had being marking Opara was left prone in the area holding his head, but referee Jorge Gonzalez nor any of his officials saw anything wrong and pointed to the centre-circle for the restart. The loss for the home team ended their run of three straight wins and now leaves them in eighth place four points off the final playoff spot, but they have played a game more than all of their rivals as their post-season hopes seem to be fading.


Philadelphia Union 1 Toronto FC 0

The Union gained their second win on the spin to climb back above Chicago to claim the final playoff position in the East. Things did not look well for the hosts after 77 minutes when they were reduced to ten-men with the dismissal of midfielder Fabinho who was given a straight red-card for what appeared to be stamp on Álvaro Rey along the sideline.

2 minutes later and Union boss John Hackworth made what was to prove his best decision of the night. He replaced Danny Cruz with Kléberson, who has played only 10 minutes in their last sixteen matches and 5 minutes into stoppage time the Brazilian midfielder finally got his season on track with a stunning free-kick to claim the success for his side. The defeat for the Canadian outfit was their third in their last four outings.


Real Salt Lake 1 FC Dallas 1

The home side stretched their unbeaten run to two games to move one point clear at the head of the Western Conference. Things started badly for Real when with only 17 minutes showing on the clock they went down to ten-men. Abdoulie Mansally was issued a straight red-card for a late tackle on Dallas midfielder Jackson. To keep their four-man back line intact coach Jason Kreis brought on Lovel Palmer for attacker Robbie Findley 4 minutes later.

After being under pressure for a lot of the game as Dallas tried to take advantage of their extra-man Real changed the momentum on the hour-mark when they took the lead. A hopeful long ball caused confusion after being allowed to bounce by three Dallas defenders and Alvaro Saborio managed to muscle his way past them all before unleashing a quick shot that seem to take keeper Chris Seitz by surprise. The away side quickly regained their dominance and 12 minutes later tied the game up.

Kenny Cooper, who had entered the game as a half-time replacement for Mauro Díaz, was starting to have a big influence on proceedings and he was on hand to knock home a rebound that keeper Nick Rimando pushed out to him after he could only parry a cross from fellow sub Je-Vaughn Watson, who had only being on the field 2 minutes having replaced Fabian Castillo, after he had skinned Tony Beltran down the left wing. The draw for FC ends their three match losing run, but still leaves them in eighth place out West four points off the playoff spots, that could also get worse for them if results from the Sunday games go against them and they have also played a game more than some of their rivals.


Colorado Rapids 5 Seattle Sounders 1

After being idle last week the Rapids gave themselves some breathing space as they got back to winning ways to move up to fourth in the West and avenge the loss to the Sounders when the two sides last met here in April. with only 14 seconds having elapsed Deshorn Brown netted the first of his brace to register the second fastest goal ever in MLS, behind only Dwayne De Rosario’s goal for San Jose, 11 seconds into a match in 2003 and the fastest ever in Rapids franchise history.

Gabriel Torres sent a magnificent pass to the rookie along the left side of the penalty box and he made no mistake firing home past Michael Gspurning in the Seattle goal. 9 minutes later and the home side had double their advantage. Dillon Powers was left free at the front post from a Vicente Sanchez corner and he did the rest. After 31 minutes the Rapids added another when Brown claimed his second.

After outpacing fellow Rookie of the Year candidate DeAndre Yedlin to a ball played over the top of the Sounders defence he calmly slotted the ball past Gspurning. 4 minutes before the interval the Sounders first-half misery was completed. Slack marking at another Sanchez corner allowed Drew Moor to get a touch that found the back of the onion bag. After 63 minutes Seattle finally got on the board when Eddie Johnson scored a consolation tally. Marc Burch played a through ball that Johnson claimed and he kept his composer to beat Clinton Irwin in the Rapids net.

That was as much good news as the Sounders were going to have as with 11 minutes left their night of misery was compounded when back-liner Zach Scott was dismissed for this second bookable offence. The hosts put the icing on the cake 1 minute into stoppage time when Torres who had produced a great all-round performance was rewarded with a goal for himself as he blasted home at the far post to record his first tally for the Rapids. The loss for the visitors brought an abrupt end to their seven match unbeaten streak and leaves them second a point behind the leaders in the Western Conference.