September 29, 2013
THE GREAT EQUALIZER
Cahill's goal lifts Red Bulls into 1-1 draw in Seattle in Supporters Shield clash
SEATTLE -- Despite playing without captain and striker Thierry Henry and central defender Jamison Olave, the Red Bulls entered MLS' version of the Lions den and emerged in one piece.
|Tim Cahill scored the tying goal for the Red Bulls in the 76th minute.
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
More importantly, they walked out of CenturyLink Field with a valuable point as they rallied from a one-goal deficit to register a 1-1 draw against the Seattle Sounders on Sunday night.
Midfielder Tim Cahill connected for the equalizer in the 76th minute as he picked up a loose ball in the penalty area an powered it home from 16 yards into the far lower right corner in the Supporters Shield clash in front of a rain-drenched crowd.
The Red Bulls did not earn a win, which would have clinched them a playoff berth, but the result certain earned them praise from their head coach.
“I’m extremely proud of my guys," Mike Petke said. "Not only to get a result here, but to play very good and to put pressure all over a phenomenal team like Seattle. And to have many scoring opportunities – and they had some as well. To come in and not be intimidated by this crowd and with the recent form of Seattle and in a very stressful environment – I’m very proud of them.”
The tie extended the Red Bulls' lead atop the Eastern Conference to four points as they moved to 15-9-7 with 52 points. The Sounders (15-8-6, 51), who entered the weekend atop the Western Conference, are tied with Real Salt Lake atop the nine-team division.
With Henry and Olave out due to doctor's orders and striker Bradley Wright-Phillips sidelined with a hamstring injuury, Red Bulls coach Mike Petke was forced to put together a new-look lineup that included Fabian Espindola and Peguy Luyindula up front and Ibrahim Sekagya alongside regular Markus Holgersson in the middle of defense.
“I think a lot of emphasis is put on who we didn’t have than on who we did have play tonight, and I thought that was a discredit to a lot of the guys," Petke said. "We knew they weren’t going to travel early in the week so it was out of our mind. That was the focus for these guys. I have faith in these guys and they have faith in each other to come in and get a result, and they did that.”
As he has for most of the season, Cahill came through the game on the line as the Australian international struck in the 76th minute, beating goalkeeper Michael Gspurning.
“Tim never ceases to amaze me – with his work rate, his attitude, his rallying the troops," Petke said. "It’s just another game for Tim.”
The Sounders had taken the lead in the 45th minute on Brad Evans' penalty kick after Holgersson was called for a handball in the penalty area.
Robles dove to his his left in an attempt to deny his opponent. Evans, however, put just enough power on his spot kick to get the Seattle supporters cheering.
Robles was magnificent in the confrontation, saving the Red Bulls on several occasions.
The Sounders laid seige to the Red Bulls' goal for most of the opening half, outshooting the visitors, 10-3.
New York, however, rebounded in the second half and made a game of it.
"New York had a good to start to the game," Gspurning said. "I thought New York was the better team in the second half. I do not think that we had our best game and we deserved the result. I think that they deserved the point. It is not a good result for us, but it is ok. It is one point at least, but we know that we can play better soccer and hopefully we will next week."
The Red Bulls return home to the friendly confines of Red Bull Arena, where they host the New England Revolution on Saturday at 7 p.m.
SEA: Brad Evans 4 (penalty kick) 45’
NY: Tim Cahill 9 (unassisted) 76’
SEA: Brad Evans (caution) 54’
NY: Jonny Steele (caution) 64’
New York Red Bulls (15-9-7, 52 points) – Luis Robles, Kosuke Kimura, Ibrahim Sekagya, Markus Holgersson, David Carney, Lloyd Sam (Eric Alexander 71’), Dax McCarty, Tim Cahill, Jonny Steele, Fabian Espindola (Andre Akpan 89’), Peguy Luyindula
Substitutes Not Used: Ryan Meara, Marius Obekop, Matt Miazga, Michael Bustamante, Brandon Barklage
Seattle Sounders FC (15-8-6, 51 points) – Michael Gspurning, DeAndre Yedlin, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Djimi Traore, Marc Burch, Lamar Neagle, Mauro Rosales (Adam Moffat 79’), Osvaldo Alonso, Brad Evans, Obafemi Martins, Eddie Johnson
Substitutes Not Used: Marcus Hahnemann, David Estrada, Patrick Ianni, Dylan Remick, Andy Rose, Steve Zakuani
Referee: Kevin Stott
Referee’s Assistants: Craig Lowry, Brian Poeschel
4th Referee: Younes Marrakchi