The New York Red Bulls drew the Los Angeles Galaxy, 2-2, after blowing a two-goal lead at StubHub Center in Carson, California.
Ashley Cole scored the equalizer in the 89th minute. Mike Magee started Los Angeles' rally with a short-range effort in the 80th minute to make it 2-1.
Gonzalo Veron scored in the 68th minute, latching onto a through ball from Sacha Kljestan and chipping his shot over the head of Galaxy goalkeeper Brian Rowe.
Sean Davis made it 2-0 in the 74th minute when he curled the ball into the net from the corner of the box.
With the draw, the Red Bulls move to 9-9-6. They face the Montreal Impact on Saturday at Red Bull Arena.
Brendan Joseph, SNY.tv:
The Red Bulls' draw with the Galaxy resembled the structure of a three-act play.
In the first act, players dropped like flies and it appeared that the Red Bulls could only hope to hold on for a road point. Defenders Damien Perrinelle and Connor Lade suffered injuries within the first 30 minutes and were substituted out of the match. Shortly after halftime, Bradley Wright-Phillips also sustained an injury and was replaced by Veron. The Galaxy were in control and another road loss would have been excusable under the circumstances.
In the second act, the Red Bulls took a surprising two-goal lead. After 67 minutes of aimless attacking and desperate defending, they found holes in the Galaxy's defense. Veron broke a two-month scoreless streak, and Davis scored his first MLS goal.
Veron, who entered the match for the injured Wright-Phillips, once again showed flashes of being able to dominate MLS. He put in his best performance in a Red Bulls' jersey and was comfortable in a free-roaming role that allowed him to alternate between central and wing play. Minutes before scoring, he had a miscommunication with Kljestan -- Veron tried to play a give-and-go, while Kljestan held his run, expecting his teammate to shoot -- but they were able to combine minutes later for the goal. Perhaps more match experience will result in increased scoring and better chemistry with his teammates for the Argentine designated player.
This match had elements of tragedy and comedy, both of which reared their ugly heads in the final act. The Galaxy took advantage of mistakes made by tired defenders and scored two goals in the final 10 minutes. The Red Bulls were once again exposed, unable to defend a second half lead on the road.
However, it was the referee's decisions that generated controversy and humor born out of frustration. After refusing to present a yellow card to any of the Galaxy players following their many rough tackles (except for a meaningless caution in garbage time), match official Hilario Grajeda declined to award what seemed to be two clear penalties to the Red Bulls. Alex Muyl and Veron were taken down in the box, but instead of getting the opportunity to win the match from the spot, Grajeda allowed play to go on.
Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena's teams play a very physical style of soccer, one that has defined MLS as a league. The constant fouling and late challenges proved to be very effective, especially with a referee who was reluctant to make too much of an impact on the match. With a different official, this match could have had a much different outcome, most likely in the Red Bulls' favor.
Expectations can change a lot during the course of a match. The Red Bulls would have been completely satisfied with a point before (and during) yesterday's match. However, once going up 2-0, three points became realistic, and therefore expected. They'll settle for the point, but it could have been a big win on the road if not for questionable referee decisions and the continued loss of focus on defense.
The Red Bulls have some time to regroup and heal before another three-matches-in-one-week grind. They'll be without Jesse Marsch for the next match, as he was sent off after arguing yet another controversial decision by the referee.