|Milton Caraglio gets one of his two goals past Red Bulls keeper Bouna Coundoul last night, his first scores since joining the Revolution last month. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)|
Tied-up Revolution once again fade at finish
Caraglio’s early goals squandered
FOXBOROUGH - The Revolution appeared on their way to solving their scoring problems last night. But they followed the defensive-breakdown script that has led to unhappy endings in a 2-2 tie with the New York Red Bulls.
Milton Caraglio converted his first two goals since joining the Revolution last month. Then the Revolution lost momentum, struggling with possession in the second half, surrendering goals to Dane Richards in the 53d and 87th minutes.
This was the fifth successive game the Revolution (4-11-11, 23 points) have given up goals from the 81st minute on, extending their home winless streak to seven games before a crowd of 18,882.
“There’s been plenty of those games this season, this is definitely one of them,’’ Revolution midfielder Benny Feilhaber said. “Getting a two-goal lead, in really every circumstance, you expect to get the 3 points. We didn’t and that’s been the story this season, giving up points in the second half.’’
The Revolution started aggressively. Caraglio and Rajko Lekic, paired at forward for the first time, appeared to add an effective dimension to the attack.
Caraglio barely missed with a close-in header (fifth minute) off a Kenny Mansally cross. Ten minutes later, he broke through the Red Bulls’ back line to score. Caraglio held off Tim Ream and shot straight at goalkeeper Bouna Coundoul, then controlled the rebound, went left, and sent a hard left-footer just inside the left post.
Caraglio converted again in the 37th minute, heading in a Mansally free kick. Caraglio set up the play, earning a free kick in a clash with Rafa Marquez.
The Revolution remained on the offensive, but nearly surrendered a penalty kick as Dax McCarty went in alone on Bobby Shuttleworth. Referee Juan Guzman consulted with linesman Pablo Tovar, then cautioned McCarty for goalkeeper interference. Shuttleworth was starting in place of Matt Reis (suspended), who is expected to return for next Sunday’s visit to Philadelphia.
New York coach Hans Backe confronted Guzman in the center circle after the halftime whistle. And the Red Bulls rallied. Richards ran onto a Ream pass, then went in alone on Shuttleworth to score. A minute later, Mansally was ejected after being issued a second caution.
The Red Bulls failed to capitalize on the numerical advantage, their best opportunity squandered as McCarty sent a low cross through the goal area (60th minute). New York midfielder Teemu Tainio was issued a second caution (69th) after taking down Shalrie Joseph from behind.
But the Revolution couldn’t regain their momentum. They failed to maintain possession, allowing central defenders Marquez and Ream to advance near the halfway line.
New York (6-6-14, 32 points), playing without Thierry Henry (Achilles’), went to a patient passing game to break down the Revolution defense. And the tactic paid off as Richards made a near-post run to finish a Joel Lindpere cross.
“We sustained the pressure pretty well, we had some chances to go up, 3-1,’’ Feilhaber said. “I had a couple shots that didn’t manage to go in, I wish I could have those back. Bottom line is giving up goals really, really late in the game, we didn’t do what we needed to do to win the game. And it’s not a fluke that we keep giving up these goals at the end of games.
“There’s more than one thing that we need to do. I feel like we’ve tried to change a couple things. When we’d get a lead and we tried to defend, and that’s not the way to go because you invite so much pressure on yourself that even the best defensive teams are going to give up a goal, if you let that much pressure in. So, we’ve been trying to play a little bit more, continue playing. And we did create a couple chances to go up, 3-1.
“I think if we go up, 3-1, the game’s over. I don’t think we can blow a two-goal lead with five minutes left.’’
Frank Dell’Apa can be reached at email@example.com.