By RYAN TOLMICH
Through the first 84 minutes of the San Jose Earthquake’s clash with the New York Red Bulls, Steven Lenhart was the goat.
The Earthquakes forward played a hand — literally — in what appeared to be the game’s lone goal by conceding a penalty via handling the ball on a Red Bulls corner.
However, an 85th minute Lenhart volley was enough to cancel out Bradley Wright-Phillips’ 33rd minute penalty, as the Earthquakes picked up a rare come-from-behind point at Red Bull Arena with the 1-1 finish.
Wright-Phillips, who was named to the MLS All-Star Team prior to the match, converted from the penalty spot for his 17th goal of the season, giving the hosts the 1-0 lead. The penalty was conceded by Lenhart’s handball, prompting protest from Earthquakes star Chris Wondolowski, who earned a yellow for his continued frustration with officials.
Wright-Phillips, who moments earlier saw a shot cleared off the line by Earthquakes defender Jason Hernandez, sent Earthquakes goalkeeper Jon Busch the wrong way to put the Red Bulls up by one.
The hosts maintained that 1-0 lead for the next 52 minutes, but failed to add the all-important insurance goal, with misses from Wright-Phillips and Eric Alexander keeping the Red Bulls in the match.
The Red Bulls, who have only picked up one 1-0 victory all season, finally cracked in the 85th minute, as Lenhart atoned for the earlier penalty by earning his side a share of the points. With the Earthquakes pushing for an equalizer, Alexander failed to head clear to end the Earthquakes attack. The ball found its way to Lenhart off a deflection and took a bounce waist-high into the air. The Earthquakes forward volleyed the ball past Luis Robles to earn his side a valuable point.
The Red Bulls will now enter an 11-day break from MLS play due to next Saturday’s friendly with Arsenal, while the Earthquakes, who remain in last place in the Western Conference, face a quick turnaround with a match against the Chicago Fire on Wednesday.
Here are the match highlights: