Heath Pearce’s goal four minutes from full time helped the New York Red Bulls earn a road point and a 1-1 tie against Vancouver Whitecaps FC at BC Place Wednesday night. Pearce headed home a Joel Lindpere cross to secure the result, which moved New York to 27 points off an 8-4-3 record.
New York had the first chance on goal in the eighth minute. After Jan Gunnar Solli won a free kick on the right wing, Lindpere’s in-swinger was deflected on and caught by goalkeeper Joe Cannon. On the other end four minutes later, Davide Chiumiento cut to his right foot and fired it over the crossbar.
Chiumiento then turned provider in the 28th minute, feeding Gershon Koffie at the top of the box. Koffie, however, pulled his shot wide left. Camilo soon after had a golden opportunity to put the hosts ahead, rifling one from 12 yards out off target with only goalkeeper Ryan Meara to beat. For the Red Bulls, Kenny Cooper got his head on the end of a Dane Richards cross but could not get enough power on it, as the ball bounced to Cannon. Dax McCarty was free on the back post in the 41st minute and could not nod a Richards pass on target.
Both teams traded possession in the second half but the defenses stayed firm. Substitute Eric Hassli nearly found the back of the net in the 69th minute, running onto a Koffie chip and knocking it off to the left. Seconds later, New York’s Connor Lade put Richards through on goal and the Jamaican’s shot was blocked by a diving Cannon.
Vancouver took the lead with 15 minutes to play. Chiumiento had the ball on the right wing and swung a cross into the box that fell to defender Martin Bonjour. Bonjour had time to settle it and guided his right footed drive through a number of players and into the top corner of the net.
However, Pearce played spoiler in the 86th minute and secured a point. Lindpere played a short corner to Richards, who settled it back for the Estonian. The Red Bulls midfielder swung left-footed cross that was nodded in by a leaping Pearce for his first career MLS goal.
New York was missing Designated Players Thierry Henry (right calf strain) and Rafa Marquez (thigh) due to injury. Richards earned his fifth yellow card of the year Wednesday and will be suspended for the Red Bulls’ next match.