Howard C. Smith/ISI PHOTOS
Danleigh Borman scored a stunning 81st minute goal to help a short-handed Red Bulls squad salvage a 1-1 draw against the Kansas City Wizards on Saturday night at Giants Stadium. The goal was Borman’s second in two matches.
The Red Bulls looked well on their way to their first home loss when midfielder Dave Van Den Bergh was issued a red card in the 77th minute. The sending off didn’t slow down the Red Bulls, who did most of the attacking in the second half.
After seeing an assortment of quality chances cleared off the line and saved by Wizards goalkeeper Kevin Hartman, the Red Bulls finally broke through in the 81st minute when Juan Pablo Angel slipped a clever pass to a wide-open Borman in the penalty area. Borman sent a left-footed blast past Hartman to tie the score and send the rain-soaked crowd at Giants Stadium into an uproar.
Borman followed up the goal with what has become his trademark cartwheel and tumble roll goal celebration. He was then hugged by a drunken Red Bulls fan who ran onto the field.
"That’s a goal celebration that I’ve done from college that actually started from my father doing the back flips," Borman said. "I can’t do a back-flip so in his honor I do the roll."
The goal capped a relentless attack in the second half that saw Hartman stop Angel from point-blank range on one sequence and Sasha Victorine clear a Kevin Goldthwaite shot off the line. Jozy Altidore also had a goal-bound shot cleared off the line by a Wizards defender soon after Wizards defender Jimmy Conrad opened the scoring in the 20th minute with a header off a Carlos Marinelli corner kick.
"I think that was a great response in the second half," Osorio said. "In the first half we couldn’t get a hold of the game. It was, however, a game that (Kansas City) had only one chance all game and it was from a set play that we conceded.
"I am very disappointed with that considering the height and the time that we dedicated to defensive plays during training," Osorio said. "But give credit to the boys. They responded very well in the second half."
The victory improved the Red Bulls unbeaten streak to five matches (2-0-3) heading into a key Eastern Conference showdown against the Chicago Fire, which lost to Houston, 2-1, on Saturday night.
"This is five games unbeaten and the guys get more confidence every game," Osorio said. "I think for me personally, I will be very frustrated because I think we probably deserved a little bit more. If I am realistic, they only created chances from set plays and that’s something that we have to work on and keep improving.
"As far as open play, I think it was another solid performance from our back four, back five."
Saturday marked the Red Bulls debut of former Toronto FC defender Andrew Boyens, who started at right back in the team’s 3-4-3 formation.
"I think he did very well," Osorio said of Boyens. "He’s not the quickest but I think he’s a clever guy, intelligent and generally I don’t think they got in behind too many times. I think that we defend that high line very well and I think he will gain confidence and get better and better."