Red Bulls midfielder Caden Clark (37) controls the ball against New England’s Matt Polster (8). Vincent Carchietta (USA TODAY Sports)
A funny thing happened to the Red Bulls on their way to their first win of the season against the New England Revolution Saturday night.
They never got there.
In what was devastating defeat, the Red Bulls saw a one-goal lead go down the drain en route to a 3-2 loss to the MLS Eastern Conference leaders at Red Bull Arena.
Enjoying a 2-1 advantage in the 84th minute, the Red Bulls endured an embarrassing meltdown the rest of the way.
“It’s not so easy to find the right words after this game, especially with this result, in the brain,” Red Bulls head coach Gerard Struber said. “Now it’s very painful. Painful for me and for my boys.”
Captain Sean Davis had similar sentiments.
“It is a horrible feeling right now,” he said. “This is the same lesson over and over again. How many times do we have to go through this before we can finish the game? It hurts a lot. The lesson is we can play well for 75 percent, 80 percent, 85 percent, 90 percent of the game. It has to be 100 percent of the game with our playing style at home.
“This one really hurts.”
Asked what he told his teammates in the locker room, Davis replied, “We have to be able to finish out games. That is what great teams do and we want to be a great team. We are not there yet. We are taking a lot of punches … You have to hope these lessons will fall into place and that we will grow as a team.”
Brandon Bye equalized in the 84th minute and Adam Buksa, who hit the post and crossbar earlier in the game, struck a minute into stoppage time to save the Revs and doom the hosts.
HE'S MAGICCCCCCC!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! pic.twitter.com/BSZFoKEac5
— New England Revolution (@NERevolution) July 31, 2021
The loss dropped New York to two games under .500 with a 5-7-3 record and 18 points while the Revs (36) improved to 11-3-3. New England swept the season series, winning all three games.
Up until the 84th minute, the Red Bulls had things well in hand.
Wiki Carmona drilled home a shot from distance to lift them into an eighth-minute lead, but Gustavo Bou equalized on the hour.
Fabio, off a Caden Clark assist, put the Red Bulls into the lead three minutes later.
New York, however, could not close out the game and suffered the consequences.