By IVES GALARCEP
The New York Red Bulls were in total control, and looked to have a road win in the bag on Sunday night, but two familiar scenarios played out yet again.
Roy Miller cost his team another game and the San Jose Earthquakes were able to capitalize with yet another late-game comeback.
Rookie forward Adam Jahn came off the bench to score an equalizer before also drawing a penalty on Miller for a handball in the 90th minute. Chris Wondolowski had his ensuing penalty kick saved by Luis Robles, but Miller was whistled for encroachment on the penalty attempt, giving Wondolowski another chance for the winner. The reigning MLS Golden Boot winner made his second attempt count, converting the penalty to help give the Earthquakes a 2-1 victory at Buck Shaw Field.
The win improved the Earthquakes’ record to 1-1 while dropping the Red Bulls to 0-1-1, and a single point despite leading in both of their matches this season.
The Red Bulls opened the scoring in the 17th minute when Eric Alexander converted a deflected Thierry Henry cross. The goal was one of the few bright spots in a largely uneventful first half that did included a clear-cut missed chance by Earthquakes forward Mike Fucito.
The Earthquakes, missing several key starters, including injured regulars Steven Lenhart, Alan Gordon and Marvin Chavez, picked up the pace in the second half, with Jahn coming on in the 66th minute and giving San Jose a target up top to put pressure on the Red Bulls defense.
San Jose broke through in the 83rd minute when Sam Cronin whipped in a cross that found Jahn on the back-post. The rookie from Stanford beat Miller to the back post and converted to tie things up and rejuvenate a Buck Shaw Stadium crowd that had gone relatively quiet.
Miller’s bad day got worse just seven minutes later when a Jahn shot struck Miller’s raised arm, drawing a clear penalty. Robles did well to save Wondolowski’s ensuing penalty, but Miller inexplicably raced into the penalty area before the spot kick, drawing an encroachment call that was eerily reminiscent of the same kind of encroachment call that cost the Red Bulls a goal in last year’s playoff loss to D.C. United.
Wondolowski converted the second PK attempt to secure the victory and doom the Red Bulls to their second straight blown lead.
Here are the match highlights:
What did you think of the match? Impressed with San Jose’s comeback? Trying to understand why the Red Bulls still play Roy Miller?
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