Starting the game three points behind rivals the New York Red Bulls, Gustavo Bou managed to get an equalizing goal in the 65th minute and keep the New England Revolution in playoff contention Saturday night at Red Bull Arena.
The goal was set up by a pinpoint precise pass from Carlos Gil. Played just onside by Aaron Long, Gil found the gap and sliced the defense wide open with a perfect through ball to Bou. Bou’s right-footed effort was able to squeeze past an onrushing Luis Robles and find the bottom right corner of the net.
The equalizer was very much against the run of play, as the Red Bulls had been dominating possession and attempts on goal up to that point. With Bou’s goal though, New England was able to tilt the balance and leave Harrison, NJ with a point that keeps them on pace to make the postseason.
Red Bulls’ Marc Rzatkowski got the scoring started in the first half with a beautiful volley from just outside the box. After an awkward clearance from the Revolution’s Edgar Castillo, Rzatkowski was able to control the ball down with his right and hit a laser with his left past a diving Matt Turner in New England’s goal.
Missed opportunities was the theme of the night for New York. By the final whistle, they had outshot the Revolution 22-6, including 10-4 with shots on goal. Daniel Royer had several chances to give the Red Bulls the lead but could not put one past Turner, who finished the game brilliantly with nine saves. In the end, NYRB could not find that goal to give them the full three points and the game ended tied at 1-1.
The match marked the first meeting as head coaches between New England’s Bruce Arena and the Red Bulls’ Chris Armas. Arena had coached Armas for eight seasons whilst Armas played for the USMNT.
Next on the cards for the New England Revolution, they prepare for a visit next Saturday from Bastian Schweinsteiger and the Chicago Fire. The Red Bulls will have a short turnaround time to get ready for a much anticipated clash with DC United Wednesday night. Armas will be hoping for good news from the medical staff in the upcoming days. Forward Brian White was subbed off by Bradley Wright-Phillips after injuring his ankle in the first half. Defender Kemar Lawrence also exited the game prematurely after sustaining a late hamstring injury in the second.
Current standings show DC United in fourth place in the East with the Red Bulls one point behind in fifth.