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July 23, 2011
Never-say-die Revs take a point from Rapids

By Adam Burrows Contributor

Shalrie Joseph brought the Revolution back from the brink against Colorado with an 89th-minute penalty kick.
Shalrie Joseph brought the Revolution back from the brink against Colorado with an 89th-minute penalty kick.
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
COMMERCE CITY, Colo.--A gritty come-from-behind performance by the shorthanded New England Revolution salvaged a point against the Colorado Rapids. Shalrie Joseph’s 89th-minute penalty kick yielded a 2-2 draw in a wild night at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.

After taking a first half lead on Benny Feilhaber’s first MLS goal, the game quickly unraveled for Revolution just past the hour mark, as Chris Tierney was ejected for denying a Sanna Nyassi goal-scoring opportunity and Caleb Folan converted the ensuing penalty kick.

The Rapids added a fluke goal in the 82nd minute, when right back Kosuke Kamura launched a long ball from his own end in search of Folan. As Matt Reis rushed forward to prepare to challenge the onrushing striker, the silver ball, Colorado’s privilege as defending MLS Cup winners, bounced high over Reis into the unguarded Revolution goal.

New England pressed forward with ten men as another disappointing loss loomed. Darrius Barnes, who had a solid game in central defense in place of injured Ryan Cochrane, headed a pass forward to Kenny Mansally, who had established position inside the box behind Colorado defender Scott Palguta. As Mansally turned, Palguta knocked him down, drawing the penalty that Joseph struck high and hard into the center of the net for the late equalizer and his team-leading sixth goal.

Feilhaber opened the scoring in 25th minute, as New England finally capitalized on a long Kevin Alston throw-in, perhaps aided by the thin Rocky Mountain air and the helium qualities of the Jabulani ball. A hard diagonal run by lone striker Rajko Lekic won the Alston throw-in from deep in the right corner. Stephen McCarthy, who headed home the deciding goal against DC United on Wednesday, figured again, rising high in traffic and flicking the throw further on to a crouching Feilhaber, who used his head to bounce the ball past Matt Pickens.

New England’s fortunes turned suddenly in the 64th minute, when second-half substitute Omar Cummings slid a ball thru to Sanna Nyassi who was clear on goal just outside the six-yard box. Chris Tierney tried to hook the ball from behind, but the referee immediately blew the whistle and pointed to the spot, before showing Tierney a red card.

Unlike Wednesday night, when Charlie Davies skied his penalty kick high over the bar, Folan, a veteran of the top-tier English leagues, struck his effort low, hard, and down the middle as Reis guessed left.

Feilhaber returned to the Revolution lineup Saturday after serving a one-game suspension for a red card earned against Philadelphia and again assumed a wide position on the left, Zack Schilawski switching to the right, with McCarthy, Pat Phelan, and MLS All-Star selection Joseph in the center of the midfield.

Colorado started brightly as Kimura dribbled the length of the field in the second minute before cutting inside A. J. Soares for a left-footed shot on goal that forced an early save from Reis.

Sanna Nyassi, who continued his attacking ways for the full ninety
minutes, nearly squeezed a 30th minute shot between Reis and the left post after beating Soares with a quick move to the outside.

In the 51st minute Joseph found himself all alone outside the eighteen, but his carefully chipped effort faded just wide of the goal. The Revolution almost connected off a 56th minute free kick that Feilhaber played short to a streaking Tierney. Tierney's one-time cross floated just high of Joseph’s header as Pickens charged out to challenge.

Soon thereafter the strange events of the night began to unfold.

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