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MLS Wrap: Cahill sends New York into play-offs

The New York Red Bulls sewed up their MLS play-off spot, with Tim Cahill netting a 97th-minute equaliser against the New England Revolution.

Cahill lobbed a header over goalkeeper Matt Reis, who palmed a clearance from a late set-piece into the Australian’s path, scoring to earn the Red Bulls a 2-2 draw that saw them guarantee themselves a post-season place.

The former Everton man was cool in the moment, popping his well-placed shot into the empty net to prolong the Red Bulls’ unbeaten run to six games, and extend their lead atop the Eastern Conference table to two points.

Earlier, Fabian Espindola had put the hosts at Red Bull Arena ahead on 14 minutes, intercepting a lax pass from New England’s Scott Caldwell to rifle home a shot from the edge of the area.

The Red Bulls were on track to win by that margin, save for an extraordinary late show by the visitors.

Firstly, Lee Nguyen equalised on 85 minutes from the penalty spot before a monumental error on the ball from Cahill’s countryman David Carney saw Diego Fernandez swoop in and score in the first minute of added time.

That goal came after Revolution substitute Andy Dorman was sent off in the 86th minute for a studs-up challenge on Eric Alexander.

And although they took the lead with just 10 on the pitch, they could not prevent the last say from Cahill in the seventh minute of additional time – which was contentious, also, given only four minutes had been added on.

New England missed the chance to close further on the top-five in the East, as they trail fifth-placed Philadelphia Union by three points.

Ten-man Union clinched a 1-0 victory at the death against Toronto, to see them into fifth.

Kleberson’s 95th-minute goal from a free-kick sent the PPL Park faithful into hysterics, as he curled home the set-piece past unmoved Toronto goalkeeper Joseph Bendik.

The goal came 18 minutes after Brazilian defender Fabinho saw red, making Philadelphia’s win all the more meritorious.

Sporting Kansas City capitalised on New York’s dropped points by closing within two points of the Eastern leaders as they won 1-0 on the road at Columbus Crew.

Western Conference leaders Real Salt Lake shared the spoils with Dallas at home in a 1-1 draw, with the former playing more than 70 minutes with 10 men due to an early dismissal of Abdoulie Mansally.

The Colorado Rapids protected Salt Lake’s slender lead at the top of the West by hammering the second-placed Seattle Sounders 5-1.

The Sounders trail Salt Lake by one point, although have two games in hand, and they are going to need them after they were downed in heavy fashion in Colorado.

The Rapids moved fourth in the West above the LA Galaxy with the win, which was powered by a Deshorn Brown brace and Drew Moor, Dillon Powers and Gabriel Torres.

Sun 6 October, 2013
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