[MLS] New England Revolution head coach Steve Nicol must be wondering if his team will ever get a win on the road.
Provided a man advantage in the opening minutes at Rio Tinto Stadium, New England took a 2-0 lead, then conceded twice to re-tie the game, regained the lead at 3-2, then went down a man itself when defender Ryan Cochrane incurred a second caution. Of course, RSL seized on the opportunity playing 10-v-10 with an equalizer by Fabian Espindola to knot the game for the final time, 3-3.
In the third minute, defender Nat Borchers chased down a bouncing ball as Benny Feilhaber tried to control it, and as he approached from the right side, got his foot on the ball and kicked it up into Feilhaber’s forehead. As the ball rolled out of play both players went down in a tumble and from his knees, Borchers saw referee Yader Reyes pull out the red card.
The official ruling – “denied obvious goalscoring opportunity [foul]” – made sense, except for that last word, unless Reyes ruled that the contact between Borchers and Feilhaber was the result of a subsequent attempt by Borchers to make a tackle, and thus was a play separate from that which won the ball.
Borchers made no contact with Feilhaber as he got his foot on the ball and did not leave his feet to make the play, yet Reyes sent him off with a straight red. It took some time for RSL to make adjustments in the wake of losing one of the league’s top defenders but it did mount a memorable comeback.
Raijko Lekic stroked home the penalty kick provided by Reyes’ call, and in the 16th minute Chris Tierney fired home a free kick to put the Revs up, 2-0. Yet eight minutes later, Will Johnson knocked home the rebound of a saved Andy Williams free kick and RSL got its equalizer 11 minutes into the second half when Alvaro Saborio converted a penalty kick awarded for a handball by defender Kevin Alston, who got his arm in the way attempting to block a cross.
New England regained the lead with a Shalrie Joseph header from a Feilhaber free kick but again couldn’t stand the prosperity. Cochrane pulled down Williams with a clearcut jersey tug and Reyes dismissed him as well. RSL conjured up a great goal with a Saborio diagonal ball that Espindola slashed into the net with the outside of his left foot from the left side of the penalty area.
The tie leaves the Revs 0-6-3 on the road and locked in the basement with Toronto FC (0-4-4), Houston (0-3-6), Portland (0-5-2), and Vancouver (0-7-3) as those without a victory away from home. Despite the three goals, they are still the lowest-scoring team in the league with 16 in 18 games (3-8-7).