If anyone remembers how the New York Red Bulls lost a lead last week against Portland, walking back a potential win into a draw, well, know this:
That was nothing!
The Red Bulls had a late lead Sunday night, about to make their way back east with four points (of a possible six) from two matches away from home to open 2013, darn good work by almost any measure. (Especially considering the matches meant two cross-country road trips.)
But things unraveled spectacularly for Mike Petke’s team over the last 10 minutes Sunday; San Jose scored in the 83rd minute and again in stoppage time for a 2-1 win at Buck Shaw Stadium.
Red Bulls star Thierry Henry, remember, had some less than flattering things to say about his teammates after last week’s second-half clunker, about the club’s need for more high-level know-how. So what in the world will the famous Frenchman think now? (And more to the point, will he keep it to himself?)
Credit the San Jose Earthquakes, who finally found a little of that missing 2012 magic, concocting a big rally that looked so familiar from last year’s sensational Supporters Shield run.
It seemed quite unlikely, too. Still missing from San Jose’s selections are bothersome strikers Alan Gordon and Steven Lenhart, speedy Marvin Chavez and skillful Simon Dawkins in the midfield and Steven Beitashour coming forward from his right back position. (All are injured except for Dawkins, who is back in England, now with Aston Villa.)
But second half sub Adam Jahn got the Earthquakes first goal of the season 83 minutes into Sunday evening when left unmarked at the far post.
Then, it was Jahn once again making something happen in stoppage time. Red Bulls left back Roy Miller was waving and arm where arms don’t need to be, preventing Jahn’s header off a corner kick from going goal-ward.
Goalkeeper Luis Robles, who had his share of shaky moments Sunday, came up with a huge stop. But Miller … well, what got into the man?
He was responsible for two late fouls that gave San Jose dangerous free kicks. Then his hand ball gifted San Jose with the penalty kick. And to put the cherry on this parfait of awful, Miller stepped into the penalty area so early prior to Wondolowski’s spot kick, referee Ricardo Salazar had little choice but to call for the re-kick.
Red Bulls players protested, but Miller was in so ridiculously early, Salazar made the correct call.
The 10-minute spell was an absolute fiasco.
Full highlights are here: