Lenhart finds late equalizer in Red Bulls, Earthquakes draw

IMAGE, NEW YORK RED BULLS

HARRISON, N.J. – Just when everything was going right for the New York Red Bulls, things took a turn for the worse.

Five minutes from their second victory in ten days, another defensive lapse cost the Red Bulls points. A failed clearance was controlled by struggling forward Steven Lenhart, unleashing a rip past keeper Luis Robles to earn San Jose a draw in front of 20,001 fans at Red Bull Arena.

The draw keeps San Jose firmly at the bottom of the West (4-8-5, 17 points) while the Red Bulls maintain their record in the middle of the Eastern Conference (5-6-9, 24 points).

“Yeah, I mean, we had clear opportunities,” Red Bulls boss Mike Petke said after the match. “Not just half-chances, not debatable opportunities, but we had clear-cut chances and, you know, they just didn’t go in.

“It was one of those things [where] last year they go in, last year they we don’t lose these games. This year, we’re losing these games – or tying these games.”

Neither the Red Bulls nor Earthquakes could establish control early in the first half.

A fortuitous penalty shot changed all of that.

Eventual goal scorer Lenhart battled Red Bulls midfielder Tim Cahill for the ball in the box. In doing so, the San Jose forward snuck an arm in on defense, making contact with the ball inside the area.

Bradley Wright-Phillips, who challenged keeper Jon Busch on a pair of attempts early in the match and saw one sequence end in a goal line clearance, converted the ensuing penalty kick, sinking his league-leading 17th goal on the season.

Robles kept the score even with sensational saves on either side of the half. Likewise, Busch stood on his head to deny New York clear opportunities at net.

With the game looking destined for a victory, a sudden lapse in defensive discipline opened the door for San Jose to tie the game up. Midfielder Alexander muffed a clearance attempt, giving Lenhart a clear chance on net. The forward took the chance and ended his season-long goalless drought to secure the Earthquakes a vital point.

Wright-Phillips nearly put New York back on top, but Busch was up for the challenge. Teammate Lloyd Sam also pushed the issue with an attempt that was also cleared from the line.  That would be the game’s clearest opportunity for New York to go ahead, ending the match in a deflating 1-1 draw, and completing their three game, seven day run earning all of four of a possible nine points.

“I think from our standpoint, we have to be looking to improving all the time,” Robles said. “It just seems like the goals we’ve conceded in the last five six games, they just seem to be on replay, not responsive, reacting too slow. We’ve got 14 games left. We have to have the mindset of fixing our mistakes. If we don’t fix our mistakes then we can kiss the playoffs goodbye.”

New York look forward to a July 26th friendly against Premiership power, Arsenal before continuing their season with an away fixture at Real Salt Lake on the 30th.

New York Red Bulls 1, San Jose Earthquakes 1
July 19, 2014
MLS Regular Season
Red Bull Arena, Harrison, NJ

Scoring Summary:
NY: Bradley Wright-Phillips 17 (penalty kick) 33’
SJ: Steven Lenhart 1 (unassisted) 85’

Disciplinary Summary:
SJ: Chris Wondolowski (caution) 33’
SJ: Shaun Francis (caution) 46+’
SJ: Steven Lenhart (caution) 65’
NY: Tim Cahill (caution) 70’
NY: Jamison Olave (caution) 70’
SJ: Shea Salinas (caution) 78’
NY: Chris Duvall (caution) 84’
NY: Peguy Luyindula (caution) 94+’

New York Red Bulls (5-6-9, 24 pts.): Luis Robles, Chris Duvall, Jamison Olave, Ibrahim Sekagya, Ambroise Oyongo, Lloyd Sam, Tim Cahill (Peguy Luyindula 74’), Dax McCarty, Eric Alexander, Thierry Henry, Bradley Wright-Phillips

Substitutes not used: Ryan Meara, Kosuke Kimura, Matt Miazga, Michael Bustamante, Connor Lade, Andre Akpan

San Jose Earthquakes (4-8-5, 17 pts.): Jon Busch, Jordan Stewart, Victor Bernardez, Shaun Francis, Jason Hernandez, Sam Cronin, Yannick Djalo (Atiba Harris 83’) Shea Salinas (Alan Gordon 90’), Jean-Baptiste Pierazzi (Khari Stephenson 69’), Steven Lenhart, Chris Wondolowski

Substitutes not used: Bryan Meredith, J.J. Koval, Brandon Barklage, Michael Fucito

Referee: Jose Carlos Rivero
Referee’s Assistants: Claudio Badea, Danny Thornberry
4th Referee: Robert Sibiga
Attendance: 20,001

  • LarryK

    Dave.

    Disgraceful. Still think Petke does not have the entire overall experience to adapt during games. He mentioned in the post game interview about sticking to the game plan. Sometimes, the game plan has to change. Also, they do miss Miller big time. I know that it is only a friendly, but it could get ugly v. Arsenal…if Arsenal play with some seriousness. I am a big time Arsenal support also, but I do not want NYRB to get embarrassed, which may happen.