FRISCO, Texas – Shalrie Joseph scored his first goal of the season in the fifth minute and Ilijia Stolica doubled the New England Revolution’s lead midway through the second half, but a pair of goals in the final 10 minutes from David Ferreira and Jeff Cunningham pulled the home side level as the Revs settled for a 2-2 draw with FC Dallas on Wednesday night at Pizza Hut Park.
Cunningham scored the game-tying goal with literally the last kick of the game, finishing deep into second-half stoppage time to extend Dallas’ (10-2-13, 43 pts.) unbeaten run to 16 games (8-0-8) in league play. Ferreira had converted an 80th-minute penalty kick – his second attempt of the game after missing a spot-kick in the first half – to draw FC Dallas close after Joseph and Stolica had staked the Revolution (7-14-4, 25 pts.) to a 2-0 lead.
Despite the heartbreaking nature of the result, the draw snapped the Revolution’s brief two-game losing streak and improved the club’s road record to 1-10-2, marking just the third positive result on the road this season and the first since a draw in Philadelphia on July 31.
Head coach Steve Nicol made two changes to the Revolution side which suffered a 3-0 loss to the Colorado Rapids last weekend at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park. Darrius Barnes replaced Emmanuel Osei in central defense, while Kenny Mansally started at left midfield, pushing Chris Tierney to left back in place of Seth Sinovic.
After conceding early goals in their last two matches – both shutout losses – the Revs flipped the script and took an early lead of their own in just the fifth minute. A half-clearance from the FCD backline was collected by Tierney, who immediately clipped the ball over the top to a wide-open Joseph in the box. The seven-time MLS All-Star – who was kept onside by Dallas defender Heath Pearce – had ample time to settle himself before steering a low shot inside the right post.
FC Dallas had a glorious chance to pull level in the 34th minute when the hosts were awarded their seventh penalty kick of the season. The penalty was the first called against the Revs in league play this year and was given when Mansally took down Ferreira in the box, although replays appeared to show Mansally got the ball as part of his challenge. In the end it didn’t matter, as Ferreira pushed the spot-kick wide of the right post.
New England stifled Dallas’ attack in the first half – limiting the hosts to one shot on goal – and FCD’s best chance from the run of play in the opening 45 minutes arrived in stoppage time, when Eric Alexander’s glancing header flashed wide of the left post.
Alexander had a similar chance shortly after the halftime break but once again missed the mark, this time looping a back-post header over the bar in the 53rd minute. Milton Rodriguez followed up with another close chance just one minute later, but his glancing redirection rolled wide of the left post as Dallas began to assert itself.
The Revs responded with their first decent chance of the second half in the 65th minute, when Mansally’s cutting through ball sent Sainey Nyassi streaking alone down the right wing. Nyassi dribbled toward goal and sent a driven cross through the box, but Marko Perovic narrowly missed out on a diving header at the back post.
That move signaled the Revolution’s intent, however, and the visitors doubled their lead just one minute later through Stolica. Goalkeeper Matt Reis began the play with a long clearance from his own box and when the FCD defense failed to deal with the ball in the air, Perovic pounced and burst into the left side of the box. The Serb squared the ball across the face of goal to his countryman Stolica, who finished into an empty net with a sliding lunge.
Trailing by a pair of goals, Dallas pushed forward and almost made the breakthrough in the 72nd minute when second-half substitute Eric Avila lined up a 20-yard drive. Reis reacted well, however, diving low to his right to push the effort around the post.
FCD cut the deficit to 2-1 in the 80th minute, when Ferreira made up for his earlier penalty miss by burying his second attempt of the evening. The Colombian was again the player fouled – taken down by Barnes at the edge of the box – and he made no mistake at the second try as he roofed the penalty attempt.
That set the stage for Cunningham’s late heroics, as the 34-year-old pulled to within two goals of Jaime Moreno for the all-time MLS lead with his 130th career goal in the third minute of stoppage time. Ferreira started the move by playing a clever one-two with Avila, who chipped the ball over the top of the Revs’ backline back to Ferreira. With his first touch, Ferreira volleyed the ball across the face of goal to Cunningham, who tapped the ball into the empty net with what proved to be the last kick of the game.
With the longest road trip of the season complete, the Revs will now return to Foxborough to meet the Eastern Conference-leading Columbus Crew on Saturday, Sept. 25. Kickoff from Gillette Stadium is set for 7:30 p.m.
New England Revolution at FC Dallas
September 22, 2010 – Pizza Hut Park (Frisco, Texas)
NE – Shalrie Joseph (Chris Tierney) 5
NE – Ilija Stolica (Marko Perovic, Matt Reis) 66
FCD – David Ferreira (penalty kick) 80
FCD – Jeff Cunningham (David Ferreira, Eric Avila) 93+
New England Revolution: Matt Reis, Chris Tierney, Cory Gibbs, Darrius Barnes, Kevin Alston, Kenny Mansally (Khano Smith 70), Pat Phelan, Shalrie Joseph ©, Sainey Nyassi (Kheli Dube 75), Marko Perovic, Ilija Stolica (Zack Schilawski 82)
Substitutes Not Used: Bobby Shuttleworth, Emmanuel Osei, Jason Griffiths, Seth Sinovic
STATS: Shots: 8; Shots on Goal: 4; Saves: 5; Corner Kicks: 4; Offside: 2; Fouls Committed: 8
FC Dallas: Dario Sala, Heath Pearce, Jackson Goncales, Zach Loyd, Jair Benitez, Atiba Harris, Dax McCarty, David Ferreira ©, Eric Alexander (Eric Avila 70), Marvin Chavez (Ruben Luna 64), Milton Rodriguez (Jeff Cunningham 61)
Substitutes Not Used: Chris Sharpe, Kyle Davies, Edson Edward, Bruno Guarda,
STATS: Shots: 23; Shots on Goal: 7; Saves: 2; Corner Kicks: 7; Offside: 0; Fouls Committed: 7
NE – Cory Gibbs (caution) 17
NE – Darrius Barnes (caution) 33
Referee: Baldomero Toledo ?Referee’s Assistants: C.J. Morgante, Craig Lowry?Fourth Official: Terry Vaunghn?Weather: Partly cloudy, 89 degrees
• Tonight’s draw was just the team’s third in series history against Dallas, pushing the Revs’ all-time mark against the Hoops to 22-10-3.
• The draw matches the teams’ result earlier this season and leveled the season series at 0-0-2 … the Revs and Hoops played to a 1-1 draw at Gillette Stadium on May 1 as the Revs finished that match with nine men after a pair of red cards in the game.
• Shalrie Joseph’s fifth-minute goal was his first of 2010 and the 25th of his career.
• Joseph’s goal also snapped the Revs’ 238-minute scoreless streak on the road, which dated back to the team’s 4-1 loss at Kansas City on Aug. 21 … Kenny Mansally scored in the 37th minute in that match to start the scoring drought.
• Chris Tierney’s assist on Shalrie Joseph’s goal was his third of the season, and first since Aug. 7 when he assisted on Pat Phelan’s game-winning goal against D.C. United … Tierney now has six career assists and his three assists in 2010 mark a new single-season high for the third-year player.
• The Revs made two personnel changes to the lineup from its last game … Kenny Mansally came in at left midfield, pushing Chris Tierney back to left back and sending Seth Sinovic back to the substitutes bench … Darrius Barnes re-entered the lineup for Emmanuel Osei at center back.
• Emmanuel Osei missed his first start since Aug. 21, when he sat when the team deployed a three-man backline at Kansas City … the last time he was not in the starting lineup when the team played a four-man backline was June 5 in Seattle … in that game, he came on as a halftime substitute in his first appearance since missing eight matches with a leg infection.
• The first penalty kick whistled against the Revs in the 32nd minute (and taken in the 34th minute) was the first adjudged in a Revolution game in 2010, either for or against … David Ferreira took the penalty kick attempt and pushed it wide right to mark FC Dallas’ first penalty kick miss of the year … Ferreira later converted the second penalty kick awarded to FCD late in the second half to push Dallas to 7-for-8 on the season.
• The lead the Revs took into the half was just the team’s fifth halftime lead of the 2010 season … the last came on Aug. 28 in a 2-1 loss at home against Philadelphia.
• In the 14th minute, Shalrie Joseph became just the second player in Revs history to play 18,000 minutes for the club … he entered the game having played 17,986 minutes in his eight-year New England career.
• Ilija Stolica’s goal was his third of the season and his MLS career.
• Marko Perovic’s assist on Ilija Stolica’s goal was his first of the season and his first career MLS assist
• The Serbian duo of Ilija Stolica and Marko Perovic together have accounted for 13 of the team’s 31 total goals scored in all competitions … that results in 41.7 of the team’s goal production in all competitions this season.
• The Revs extended their winless streak on the road to 11 games … the streak began on April 17 with 2-0 loss at San Jose … the team’s last road win was a 2-0 victory at D.C. United
• Tonight’s game marked the third time in 2010 the Revs scored two or more goals on the road, and just the seventh time in MLS competition that the team recorded multiple goals this season.
• The team’s two goals scored was its highest road scoring total since May 8 in a 3-2 loss at Columbus … the only other road game in which the Revs scored two goals was a 2-0 win at D.C. United on April 3.
• The Revs remained winless in matches that kicked off in temperatures in the 80s … kickoff temperature was 89 degrees and the team is now 0-3-2 in five games this season.
· Matt Reis' assist on Ilija Stolica's goal was his first assist of 2010 and the second assist on his career ... he also picked up an assist on a Taylor Twellman goal on Aug. 25, 2007 in a 2-1 over New York at Gillette Stadium.