Red Bulls fight back to earn 2-2 tie against Sporting Kansas City
Despite falling behind twice, the New York Red Bulls fought back through goals from the forward tandem of Thierry Henry and Dane Richards to earn a 2-2 tie against Sporting Kansas City in front of a sellout crowd of 10,087 at Hi Corbett Field Saturday night.
In a seesaw battle between the two MLS rivals over the 90 minutes, Red Bull Greg Sutton was the first tested goalkeeper in the 13th minute, pushing away a left footed drive by Kansas City midfielder Davy Arnaud. Moments later, Arnaud volleyed a Kei Kamara pass that zipped over the crossbar.
Sporting KC’s persistence would help give it the lead in the 20th minute. Kamara had the ball on the right wing and found Arnaud, who one-timed it with his left foot into the back of the net to open the scoring.
Kansas City’s lead would last less than two minutes, as Henry drew the Red Bulls level. Midfielder Tony Tchani played a long ball over the top to Richards, who ran towards goal and blasted a shot that goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen could only parry away. The rebound fell to Henry, who slid it in from six yards out to tie the match.
New York settled into the game after the goal and just before the break, Medhi Ballouchy’s cross was nearly headed in at the near post by midfielder Joel Lindpere.
The Red Bulls rode their momentum into the second half and three minutes in, a powerful Tchani header off a Rafa Marquez corner kick delivery was palmed away by a diving Nielsen. Then, in the 60th minute, Tchani threaded a well-weighted ball into the path of Richards. With only Nielsen to beat, Richards dragged his attempt wide right.
That missed opportunity would hurt the Red Bulls, as New York defender Tim Ream knocked down forward C.J. Sapong in the penalty box seconds later and the referee blew his whistle for a penalty kick. Kamara stepped up and sent Sutton the wrong way, giving Sporting KC the lead for the second time in the match.
Richards would make up for his previous chance with less than 15 minutes remaining in the encounter. Henry was able to gather the ball at the top of box and held off defender Matt Besler before he passed it to Richards. Richards was able to stay up from the pressure of a Kansas City defender and poked it in under Nielsen.
Richards almost knocked in the game winner three minutes later, outracing his Jamaican National Team teammate Shavar Thomas and rifling an attempt that Nielsen blocked away. In the 86th minute, Henry nearly had his second of the game, nodding a Lindpere cross off target.
New York returns to action on Monday, March 7 when it takes on FC Dallas in Casa Grande, AZ at 6:00 PM ET. The Red Bulls then face Club Atlas de Guadalajara – a showdown called Red Bull Reto del Sol – on March 8 at 10:00 PM ET at the University of Phoenix Stadium in the team’s last preseason match.
New York Red Bulls 2, Sporting Kansas City 2
March 5, 2011; Hi Corbett Field, Tucson, AZ
KC: Davy Arnaud 1 (Kei Kamara 1) 20’
NY: Thierry Henry 1 (unassisted) 22’
KC: Kei Kamara 1 (penalty kick) 61’
NY: Dane Richards 1 (Thierry Henry 1) 76’
New York Red Bulls – Greg Sutton (GK), Roy Miller, Tim Ream, Rafa Marquez, Teemu Tainio*, Joel Lindpere, Tony Tchani, Mehdi Ballouchy, Jan Gunnar Solli, Dane Richards, Thierry Henry
Sporting Kansas City – Jimmy Nielsen (GK), Luke Sassano (Kevin Ellis 76’), Shavar Thomas, Matt Besler, Roger Espinoza, Craig Rocastle (Milos Stojcev 67’), Stephane Auvray, Kei Kamara (Chance Myers 76’), Davy Arnaud, Omar Bravo, C.J. Sapong
* - Non-Roster Player