Cahill Rescues Point, Clinches the Playoffs for RBNY

Wild final minutes in the 2nd half gives a dramatic finish
by Daniel Feuerstein   |   Monday, October 07, 2013

Branded Bulls – column on Red Bull NY (RBNY – NYRB) & the New Jersey area soccer scene.

It’s very clear what Red Bull New York had to do on this warm evening in early October at Red Bull Arena. By getting either a draw or a win, the Red Bulls would be the 1st club in the 2013 season to clinch a playoff berth.

But on the other side, the New England Revolution needed points just to keep their playoff hopes alive.

In the end, both teams got what they needed as the sides drew 2-2. The Revs walked away with a point, and RBNY qualified for the playoffs.

Espindola gets on the board

Since coming over from Real Salt Lake, Fabian Espindola has had a tough time feeling comfortable in RBNY manager Mike Petke’s system. Even though he had a great start against the Portland Timbers to begin the season, he’s been on and off.

But this time Espindola was able to switch on and convert early in the 1st half. He took advantage of a Scott Caldwell blunder as he stole the ball and attacked the area.

When he got to the top of the New England area, he fired a hard shot inside the far post. Revs goalkeeper Matt Reis covered it well, but it just wasn’t enough and the Red Bulls led with that goal throughout the match.

Bad penalty call

It was a call from referee Fotis Bazakos that stunned a sold out Red Bull Arena when he blew his whistle on Jamison Olave in the area and called for a penalty.

On replay it was clearly shown that Olave shouldered the ball away from danger, yet the call was made. All Lee Nguyen had to do was convert the spot kick and he leveled the match at 1-1.

That equalizer rattled the Red Bulls. As the 1st half stoppage time began, Dax McCarty lost the ball to Diego Fagundez as he attacked the net and slotted home the go-ahead goal.

It felt that the old haunting of MetroStars seasons past were returning and a 5-game unbeaten streak was about to be snapped very hard in the hearts of the hometown fans.

Socceroo once again to the rescue

It doesn’t matter at what stage of the match they were in, all Tim Cahill needs is that one moment to get his head or foot on the ball and magic happens.

As 4 minutes of stoppage time was added and another 4 with Andrew Farrell accidentally taking a boot to his face from his keeper that gave him a bloody nose.

A hand ball was called on Fagundez on the far side of the Revolution area and this would look to be the final play of the match. Jonny Steele bent the free kick inside the area and Tim Cahill magic ensued.

While Reis did a good job tracking the ball and punching it away, Cahill wasn’t marked and all alone heads the rebound softly towards goal. The ball floated over everyone and softly landed inside the back of the net for the Red Bulls biggest draw of the season.

With that point the Red Bulls are the 1st MLS side to enter the MLS Cup playoffs and everyone inside Red Bull Arena erupted with joy and madness all in one. With 2 games remaining, the Red Bulls can take worry away from qualifying for the playoffs and focus on competing for the Supporters’ Shield.

NEXT UP: October 20 – New York Red Bulls vs. Houston Dynamo, BBVA Compass Stadium, Houston. 4 p.m. EST, UniMas, MLS Live, MSG

Daniel FEUERSTEIN

Nationality:
USA
College:
Ramapo College
Club Domestic:
Red Bull NY
Club Foreign:
PSG, ManU, Maccabbi Haifa
Original New York Cosmos fan, reborn soccer fan since 1994 USA World Cup. Feuerstein’s Fire podcast host. Covers NY Red Bulls for SN, and promotes all levels of American soccer from both sides of issues.
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