SANDY, Utah – Second-half substitute Fabian Espindola scored his team-leading fifth goal of the season in the 83rd minute and Real Salt Lake came from behind to claim a 3-3 draw with the visiting New England Revolution in a wild encounter on Monday night at Rio Tinto Stadium.
Rajko Lekic scored from the penalty spot in the fourth minute – moments after Nat Borchers was shown a straight red card for fouling Benny Feilhaber in the box – and Chris Tierney doubled the Revolution’s lead with a long-range free kick in the 16th minute.
Will Johnson and Alvaro Saborio – also from the penalty spot – scored either side of halftime to pull RSL level at 2-2, before Shalrie Joseph restored New England’s lead in the 63rd minute. Revolution defender Ryan Cochrane was issued his second yellow card and was subsequently ejected in the 67th minute as the sides were leveled at 10 players apiece, setting the stage for Espindola’s dramatic equalizer seven minutes from the final whistle.
The draw helped the Revs (3-8-7, 16 pts.) earn their first-ever point at Rio Tinto Stadium after a pair of heavy defeats in their first two visits, but the club’s winless streak was extended to eight games (0-5-3) in league action. It was Real Salt Lake’s (7-3-6, 27 pts.) fourth draw in its last five games.
Tierney returned from a left foot contusion to regain his starting role on the left wing, while the Revolution’s lineup remained otherwise unchanged from the 2-1 loss to Seattle Sounders FC last weekend.
The Revs took an early lead on the road for the second straight week and simultaneously went up a man when Lekic converted from the spot after Borchers was issued a straight red card in just the third minute.
Matt Reis’ long goal kick bounced straight through the RSL backline and Feilhaber latched onto the ball as he surged into the box, but Borchers intervened as Feilhaber shaped to shoot and referee Yader Reyes awarded a penalty kick and a red card. Lekic stepped up and finished with a calm chip down the middle to hand the Revolution a 1-0 lead.
New England capitalized on its man advantage almost instantly and doubled its lead in the 16th minute when Tierney beat RSL goalkeeper Nick Rimando with a 35-yard free kick. Tierney’s low effort was drilled past the Real Salt Lake wall and skipped just inside the right post.
The home side answered from a set piece of its own in the 24th minute to cut the deficit to 2-1. Former Revolution midfielder Andy Williams’ curling free kick from 20 yards struck the right post, but Johnson followed up and tapped into an empty net from close range with Reis out of position after diving for the initial effort.
RSL almost pulled level before halftime when Jamison Olave rose highest at the back post in the 40th minute, but his header toward the right post was stopped by Reis and the Revolution maintained a one-goal lead at the break.
It didn’t take long for the Claret-and-Cobalt to level the score at 2-2 after the halftime break, however, as Saborio buried a penalty kick in the 56th minute. Reyes pointed to the spot after an apparent handball from Kevin Alston, and Saborio deposited his effort low into the right side of the net.
Joseph restored New England’s lead just seven minutes later with his team-leading fifth goal of the season. Feilhaber curled a free kick into the box from the left channel and Joseph sent a glancing header into the back of the net off right post as the Revs went ahead 3-2.
Real Salt Lake was handed a lifeline in the 67th minute when Cochrane was issued a second yellow card for a jersey tug on Williams, leveling the sides at 10 players apiece. Saborio almost capitalized on the ensuing free kick, but his follow-up header hit the crossbar after Johnson’s initial effort was parried by Reis.
Eventually the home side did find its equalizer following clever hold up play from Saborio in the 83rd minute. The Costa Rican forward received the ball with his back to goal and laid a pass into the path of Espindola, who finished inside the right post with the outside of his left foot.
The Revs will have an extended break before their next match, a friendly with Barclays Premier League champion Manchester United on Wednesday, July 13, at Gillette Stadium as part of the Herbalife World Football Challenge. New England returns to league action on Sunday, July 17, when the club hosts the Philadelphia Union.
New England Revolution at Real Salt Lake
July 4, 2011 – Rio Tinto Stadium (Sandy, Utah)
New England Revolution 3, Real Salt Lake 3
NE – Rajko Lekic (penalty kick) 4
NE – Chris Tierney (unassisted) 16
RSL – Will Johnson (unassisted) 24
RSL – Alvaro Saborio (penalty kick) 56
NE – Shalrie Joseph (Benny Feilhaber) 63
RSL – Fabian Espindola (Alvaro Saborio, Jamison Olave) 83
New England Revolution: Matt Reis, Darrius Barnes (Kenny Mansally 46), A.J. Soares, Ryan Cochrane, Kevin Alston (Didier Domi 86), Chris Tierney, Benny Feilhaber, Shalrie Joseph ©, Pat Phelan, Sainey Nyassi (Zak Boggs 65), Rajko Lekic
Substitutes Not Used: Bobby Shuttleworth, Franco Coria, Ryan Guy, Zack Schilawski
STATS*: Shots: 7; Shots on Goal: 5; Saves: 10; Corner Kicks: 1; Offside: 1; Fouls Committed: 12
Real Salt Lake: Nick Rimando, Tony Beltran, Nat Borchers ©, Jamison Olave, Robbie Russell (Kyle Beckerman 46), Will Johnson, Collen Warner (Chris Schuler 9), Ned Grabavoy, Andy Williams, Alvaro Saborio, Luis Gil (Fabian Espindola 63)
Substitutes Not Used: Kyle Reynish, Jean Alexandre, Chris Wingert, Nelson Gonzalez
STATS*: Shots: 20; Shots on Goal: 13; Saves: 2; Corner Kicks: 4; Offside: 0; Fouls Committed: 14
* Note that all statistics are unofficial
RSL – Nat Borchers (ejection) 3
NE – Shalrie Joseph (caution) 13
NE – Ryan Cochrane (caution) 23
NE – Rajko Lekic (caution) 55
NE – Ryan Cochrane (caution) 67
NE – Ryan Cochrane (second caution/ejection) 67
RSL – Kyle Beckerman (caution) 85
RSL – Alvaro Saborio (caution) 93+
New England Revolution – 3-8-7, 16 pts.
Real Salt Lake – 7-3-6, 27 pts.
Referee: Yader Reyes
Assistant Referees: Peter Balciunas, Mike Kampmeinert
Fourth Official: Allen Chapman
Weather: Cloudy and 81 degrees
- With the draw, the Revs improved to 4-6-4 all-time against Real Salt Lake, including a 2-3-2 mark in matches played in Utah
- The Revs’ three goals in the road match marked the first time that the team has scored three (or more) goals on the road since a 3-1 win at Kansas City on April 9, 2008
- The Revs’ three goals marked just the third time this season the team scored more than one goal in a game, and the first time since April 23 in a 3-2 win over Sporting Kansas City at home
- This was also the first game this year in which the Revs scored more than one goal on the road, and the first multiple-goal game away from Gillette Stadium since Oct. 10, 2010, in a 2-1 win at Houston
- Shalrie Joseph became just the second player in Revolution history to play 20,000 minutes with the team … he entered the game with 19,946 minutes played, and by playing into the 54th minute, Joseph reached the 20,000-minute mark … Jay Heaps (21,619 minutes) is the club’s all-time minutes played leader
- Chris Tierney returned to the lineup at left midfield after missing the team’s last game – at Seattle on June 26 – with a left foot contusion … Ryan Guy, who started in his place against the Sounders, returned to the bench
- Rajko Lekic’s successful penalty attempt in the fourth minute marked the first time since 2009 that a Revolution player other than Shalrie Joseph had stepped to the spot for the Revolution …
- Steve Ralston went 4-for-4 in 2009, before Joseph took over primary PK duties for the team later that season and into 2010 and 2011
- Rajko Lekic’s successful penalty kick was the second penalty kick drawn this season by Benny Feilhaber … he also drew the Revs’ PK chance on May 14 at home against Vancouver, which was successfully converted by Shalrie Joseph
- Rajko Lekic’s goal was the Revs’ first-ever at Rio Tinto Stadium … the team had been held scoreless in their first two visits in 2009 and 2010
- With his caution in the 13th minute, Shalrie Joseph picked up his fifth caution of the season and will be forced to sit the Revs’ next league match – on Sunday, July 17 against Philadelphia – while serving a mandatory one-game yellow-card accumulation suspension
- Chris Tierney scored his second goal of the season and his second directly off a free kick … he previously scored straight off a free kick at San Jose on May 21 … the goal was Tierney’s third of his career overall
- When Kenny Mansally came into the game at the half, he moved into the left midfield spot and Chris Tierney moved back to left back
- Shalrie Joseph scored his fifth goal of the season with his redirected header off Benny Feilhaber’s free kick in the 63rd minute … it was his first goal since May 14 against Vancouver, a span of eight games
- Joseph’s five goals mark his third-highest season goal production in his MLS career, behind his eight goals (in 27 games) in 2009, and six goals (in 31 games) in 2005
- Benny Feilhaber recorded his third assist as a member of the Revolution, and his second in as many games
- With his two yellow cards in tonight’s game, Ryan Cochrane will also miss the July 17 match against Philadelphia while serving his mandatory one-game yellow-card accumulation suspension
- With Ryan Cochrane’s ejection, Pat Phelan dropped back into central defense, leaving the Revs in a 4-4-1 formation
- When Didier Domi came into the game in the 86th minute, he moved into the left back position and Chris Tierney then moved to right back for Kevin Alston
- Didier Domi’s appearance was his first since June 10, when he started at left back against New York
- Matt Reis made 10 saves on the night, one shy of his career high – 11 against Kansas City on July 11, 2009
- With the draw, the Revs are now winless in their last eight games (0-5-3) … the eight-game winless stretch is the second-longest in club history, one game shy of the club-record nine-game winless streak in 2009 (0-9 between May 13 and July 1)
- With the draw, the Revs moved to 0-6-3 in away games this season … the last game in which the team picked up a point on the road was at Vancouver on April 6
- The draw also extended the team’s winless streak in games played in the Mountain and Pacific times zones to 14 games, dating back to September 2009 (0-10-4)
- With the 3-3 score line, the Revs have now been out-scored by a combined line of 14-3 in their three visits to Rio Tinto Stadium (6-0 loss in 2009 and 5-0 loss in 2010)
- Tonight’s game was the team’s 12th match against Western Conference opponents this season – in 18 games
- After tonight’s match, the Revs will have a bye weekend in the schedule next weekend, before playing a friendly against Manchester United on Wednesday, July 13, and returning to the MLS schedule on Sunday, July 17, against Philadelphia … both matches will be played at home
- After tonight’s game, the Revs will play three of their next four league matches on the road with the only home game coming on July 17 against Philadelphia … the Revs will then play a midweek match on Wednesday, July 20 at D.C., before heading straight to Colorado to face the Rapids on Saturday, July 23