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Referee Conspires To Cost New England Two Points Against New York

blind-manWhen Diego Fagundez put the 10-men New England Revolution ahead in stoppage time in New York it looked like the Revs were going go pick up a huge three points as they battle for a playoff place.

But deep into stoppage time, a controversial decision by the referee Fotis Bazakos allowed the Red Bulls to scoring a game-tying goal with almost the last kick of the game.

The Red Bulls through everyone forward to equalize the game and as stoppage time wound down, Thierry Henry pushed Revs defender Andrew Farrell into Revs goalkeeper Matt Reis in the penalty area. Farrell had to be helped off the field and have his injured face attended to as he suffered multiple abrasions and a swollen orbital area, but he came back on a few seconds later.

With New York drawing a last-minute free kick deep in the attacking zone, both teams were setting up in the box for Jonny Steele’s cross and Bazakos sent Farrell off the field again for more apparent blood on his face. With no fresh blood evident and Farrell on the sideline being refused entry back in the game and as a result the Revs had only nine men on the pitch when New York took the free kick and Tim Cahill headed in the game-tying goal in the 97th minute.

Matt Reis was brilliant all match, making several outstanding saves. Unfortunately for Reis his weak punch from Steele’s cross went straight to Tim Cahill and he made no mistake.

I can understand Bazakos sending Farrell off if he thought he had blood on him. But when he realized that he didn’t he should have let him back on the pitch, especially when the Revs were already down to 10-men after Dorman was sent off.

Bazakos simply was terrible. The Red Bulls dominated the game and if had not been for Matt Reis they would have won easily. But he kept the Revs in the game and in the 83rd minute the Revs got a penalty when Bazakos said that Olave had block Sene’s cross with his arm. A horrendous decision as the all clearly struck his chest. But Nguyen stepped up and buried his penalty attempt low and under Robles to draw the Revs even at 1-1 with five-plus minutes to play.

Three minutes later Bazakos equaled things up when he have Dorman a straight red for a lunging tackle and then in the 89th minute Ries made a brilliant save to deny Henry.

Then as we went into stoppage time, Fagundez scored what I thought was the game winner, making no mistake when Bengtson intercepted a Red Bulls pass and played Fagundez coming down the right wing. The 18-year-old settled the ball and calmly slotted home under Robles to the far post.

The draw was New England’s (11-11-9, 42 pts.) first-ever point at Red Bull Arena, while the league-leading Red Bulls (15-9-8, 53 pts.) became the first team in MLS to clinch a spot in the MLS Cup Playoffs.

The playoffs remain an unlikely prospect for the Revolution. They are three points behind Philadelphia with three games to go. The Revolution need a win next week in Montreal if they are to have any hope of making the playoffs now.