WASHINGTON, D.C. (April 11, 2015) – The New York Red Bulls earned a gutsy road point on Saturday night at RFK Stadium, taking a 2-2 draw on a 90th minute goal from Lloyd Sam. With the tie, New York remains undefeated through four games of the 2015 season.
Sam’s goal in the waning moments salvaged a point after the Red Bulls fell behind 2-0. Perry Kitchen scored twice for D.C., finishing a corner in the 26th minute before firing a shot past Red Bulls ‘keeper Luis Robles in the 67th minute. Just after play resumed, New York earned a corner, which was taken quickly by Sal Zizzo and finished off at the back post by Damien Perrinelle. The Frenchman’s first-career MLS goal gave New York life with just over 20 minutes remaining.
“The second goal really woke us up,” said Red Bulls head coach Jesse Marsch. “To see use respond the way we did, going down 2-0 on the road is certainly a moment where I think the team came together really well, and a moment where I’m really proud of the guys and how they stuck together.”
The Red Bulls had the better of the play from there out while the home team set in to weather the storm. New York pressed and tested the D.C. lines, but seemed unable to connect for the tying goal.
Zizzo and fellow substitute Dane Richards provided a spark to the home team in the final stages. Richard’s speed gave the D.C. back line fits and enabled the Red Bulls to operate around the box and generate scoring chances. The breakthrough finally came after Sacha Kljestan earned a free kick from 25 yards out in the 89th minute. With several players standing over the ball, Kljestan stepped up and delivered a dipping ball in on D.C. United ‘keeper Bill Hamid.
“The goal was just to put it on target and make Hamid make a save,” said Kljestan. “The way I kick the ball, it’s not easy for goalies to catch the ball, and that’s something I’ve been working on for the past five, six years. The goal is for him to not catch it, and hopefully for our strikers to be there for the rebound.”
Sam did find himself there for the rebound, netting his team-leading third of the season to pull New York even. New York was then able to fend off a stoppage time set piece to leave RFK with a point – their fourth off of D.C. this season.
Kitchen’s first goal broke a spell of back-and-forth play to open the game. The midfielder was able to lose his man on a corner kick and beat Robles to the ball, placing a header off the right post and in. Kitchen’s second of the night came on a shot from the top of the box, a well-paced shot back across goal, just out of the reach of a diving Luis Robles and inside the left post.
With the win, New York improves to 2-0-2 on the season and remain one of just two undefeated teams in MLS. The result keeps them in second place in the Eastern Conference, tied with New England on eight points but ahead on goal differential.
The Red Bulls now return home for three straight at Red Bull Arena, beginning with a match against San Jose Earthquakes on Friday, April 17th on Autism Awareness Night. New York then hosts LA Galaxy on Sunday, April 26th and the Colorado Rapids on Wednesday, April 29th. Tickets for all three games are available by visiting www.newyorkredbulls.com/tickets