Bobby Boswell scored his third goal of the season in the 90th minute to claim a dramatic 1-1 draw for the Houston Dynamo against the New England Revolution on Wednesday night at Gillette Stadium.
Former Dynamo defender Ryan Cochrane had given the Revs (4-11-10, 22 pts.) an early lead with his first goal for the Revolution in the fourth minute, but Boswell broke through with Houston’s (7-7-11, 32 pts.) 15th shot of the game just as the match was poised to enter stoppage time.
Revolution goalkeeper Matt Reis had a stellar night between the pipes – making a season-high nine saves – but his evening ended in disappointment as he was issued a straight red card for abusive language during a scuffle following the final whistle. Dynamo midfielder Adam Moffat was also ejected during the skirmish after being issued a second yellow card for a shoulder barge on Pat Phelan.
After deploying a 4-3-3 setup in last weekend’s 3-1 loss to the Columbus Crew, head coach Steve Nicol returned to a 4-4-2 formation and made three personnel changes to the Revolution’s starting lineup. Chris Tierney moved up to left midfield and Darrius Barnes shifted to left back to accommodate Cochrane’s return in central defense, while Zak Boggs and Kenny Mansally – both used as substitutes in Columbus – earned starting nods, as well.
Cochrane marked his return to the lineup in style with an opportunistic goal to give the Revolution a 1-0 lead in just the fourth minute. Tierney almost made the breakthrough when his curling 25-yard free kick hit the post, but the Revs capitalized from the ensuing corner kick. Benny Feilhaber whipped the ball into the box from the left wing and it eventually fell to Milton Caraglio at the back post, where the Argentine striker saw his close-range effort cleared off the line. The ball deflected directly to Cochrane, however, who tapped into an empty net from close range.
Houston almost engineered an immediate response in the sixth minute, but Revolution defender Kevin Alston was on hand to clear the ball off the line following a corner kick. Feilhaber popped up on the opposite post to clear another effort off the line – again from a corner kick – in the 13th minute.
After receiving a bit of help from his defenders, Reis got into the action with a pair of huge saves midway through the first half. Reis first denied Je-Vaughn Watson’s back-post header by tipping the ball over the crossbar in the 24th minute, while he sprawled to his left to deny Moffat’s 30-yard drive one minute later.
Reis was alert once again in the 40th minute when he turned Geoff Cameron’s header over the crossbar after the Attleboro, Mass., native got on the end of Brad Davis’ corner kick. Cameron was denied yet again in the 56th minute, Reis making a remarkable save low to his left from a driven 15-yard blast.
Cam Weaver was the next try his luck with no success in the 62nd minute, as Reis pushed Weaver’s header around the post before crashing into the woodwork.
Reis was finally beaten by Boswell in the 90th minute, but not before making another extraordinary save. Second-half substitute Carlo Costly powered a header on target from Davis’ corner kick and Reis reacted well to keep the ball out of the net, but Boswell was perfectly positioned to tap the loose ball into the vacant net and claim a point for the visitors.
That wasn’t the game’s last action, however, as both Reis and Moffat were ejected after the final whistle.
The Revs will be back in action on Saturday, Aug. 20, when they’ll host the New York Red Bulls to close out a brief two-game home-stand. Kickoff from Gillette Stadium is set for 7:30 p.m.