Caden Clark was blanked for the first time in his very short MLS career. (Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports)
HARRISON, N.J. – At death’s door, the Red Bulls pulled out their most dramatic result of the year.
It was worth only one point, but it probably went far to soothe the team’s soul and raise its spirit as well.
Second-half substitute Brian White scored five minutes into second-half stoppage time to lift the Red Bulls to a 1-1 draw with Orlando City SC and a precious point at Red Bull Arena Sunday night.
About a minute after he scored, the game was whistled over.
“I think it shows the character of this team,” White said. “We’re always pushing for points. We’ll take it.
“We were pushing for chances and we fortunately got one at the end.”
Awarded a corner kick, goalkeeper Ryan Meara came up to join the attack to try to equalize. Jared Stroud swung it into the area. Omir Fernandez had his chance blocked and the ball was cleared out of the box. Jason Pendant sent the ball to White, with his back to the goal. He turned quickly and drilled a 14-yard shot into the lower left corner past Brian Rowe.
"SCORED! SCORED! THEY TIED THE GAME LATE!" pic.twitter.com/ZLdXA3bkBw
— Red Bull New York (@NewYorkRedBulls) October 19, 2020
“We just proved a little bit resilient,” interim head coach Bradley Carnell said. “Teally proud of the boys. Never felt we were really out of it today.
“It’s another point in the bank. The schedule doesn’t get any easier but we can have a slight exhale.”
Orlando City SC head coach Oscar Pareja wasn’t as impressed.
“It was very lucky,” he said. “I can’t say anything different. It was a corner that we cleared and the guy hit the ball, he missed the ball and just kicked it somewhere and it arrived and the finisher was close to the goal.”
The Red Bulls (7-8-4, 25) remained in seventh place in the Eastern Conference. They had lost four of their past five matches at home. Later, Orlando City’s (8-2-8, 32) discovered it had clinched a playoff berth.
The hosts certainly weren’t helped by the absence of two starting midfielders, the playmaking Kaku and Cristian Casseres, Jr., who needed to be quarantined after international duty during the FIFA international dates.
Many fans were wondering if 17-year-old Caden Clark would score in his third consecutive match after making his professional debut.
Clark’s chances were few and far between. He had the Red Bulls’ best opportunity in the first half when his rising shot from 25 yards sailed over the crossbar in the 16th minute.
Nani gave the visitors on the board after Daryl Dike was tripped in the penalty area by center back Amro Tarek.
On the ensuing spot kick, Nani took a stutter step before burying his attempt into the lower left corner past goalkeeper Ryan Meara for a 1-0 Orlando City lead in the 56th minute.
“The good news is that we’re not giving away goals during the run of play,” White said. “The bad news is we’re giving them up on penalties.”
Both goalkeepers had their moments.
Meara denied Nani with a knee save in the 41st minute.
Orlando City’s Brian Rowe stopped Sam Tetteh’s free kick attempt in the 77th minute, diving to his left to keep the Red Bulls off the scoreboard.