FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Darrius Barnes picked the perfect time to score his first career goal.
The fourth-year defender needed every minute of his 88th career appearance to find the score sheet, powerfully heading home Ryan Guy’s right-wing cross in the fifth minute of second-half stoppage time to help the New England Revolution secure a dramatic 1-1 draw with the New York Red Bulls.
“I keep telling [head coach Jay Heaps] I’m a target forward,” joked Barnes. “He doesn’t believe me.”
Barnes’ last-gasp goal helped the Revs rescue a single point on a night when they felt three would’ve been appropriate, particularly as they had a seemingly good goal wiped off the board in the fourth minute and were later denied by a combination of New York goalkeeper Bill Gaudette and the woodwork just before halftime.
The Revolution’s prospects for victory increased in the 74th minute when Red Bulls defender Connor Lade was ejected following his second caution, but it was the visitors who surprisingly broke through as the game entered stoppage time when Joel Lindpere nodded home from close range following a scramble in the box.
Luckily for the Revs, Barnes showed impeccable timing with his strike just moments later.
“It’s been a long time coming,” Barnes said of his first goal. “It’s just great that it came at that point in time, when we were down and they had just scored a goal in the 91st minute. We were able to have that resiliency and come back to get one of our own. It helped us to get a point, but we were unfortunate not to get three. We definitely had some great chances in the first half.”
Heaps was particularly proud of his side’s willingness to fight to the final whistle, even with the postseason out of reach. Those types of steps forward are what Heaps hopes to continue to see as the Revolution approaches the final four games of the 2012 season with an eye on 2013.
“Obviously the results haven’t gone our way,” said Heaps. “Real men go in the locker room and find a way. We’re trying to build that. We’re trying to get our guys to respond like they did tonight. When they’re down a goal after the 93rd minute and they know they have a minute left, they pull their socks up and get something out of nothing.”