Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Heath Pearce Scores in 85th Minute as Red Bulls Salvage 1-1 Draw with Whitecaps

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Heath Pearce Scores in 85th Minute as Red Bulls Salvage 1-1 Draw with Whitecaps

Article excerpt

Whitecaps settle for 1-1 draw with Red Bulls

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VANCOUVER - Heath Pearce picked a great time to score his first goal in five years.

The New York Red Bulls' defender scored in the 85th minute as the visitors salvaged a 1-1 tie with the Vancouver Whitecaps in Major League Soccer action Wednesday.

It was the first goal for the defender in his four-year MLS career and his first since 2007 when he played in the Danish Superliga. It was also just his fifth game played since being acquired from Chivas USA in a trade in May.

On a late corner kick, Pearce emerged through a crowd to head in Joel Lindpere's cross past goalkeeper Joe Cannon.

"It was a great cross," said Pearce. "It wasn't much for me to do in the position that I was in. Luckily I was able to finish it and we were able to get out of here with a point."

Vancouver had kept the Red Bulls to the outside for much of the night but gave away the lead on a set piece.

"They gave us the space," said Pearce of his scoring play. "They were caught off guard for a second there. I saw Joel (Lindpere) motioning over to Dane (Richards) to come over for a short corner. They were caught a little bit flat footed. We drew a couple guys out of the box and it opened up space for us at the back post."

Vancouver (7-3-5), which remains unbeaten in five games (2-0-3), knows that the goal should have been avoided.

"First the linesman gave a goal kick, which turned into a corner, so that was a bit frustrating, and then we didn't defend it right," said Whitecaps' head coach Martin Rennie. "That's avoidable on our part. (On a set piece) the minute somebody doesn't do their job it can cost you and it did."

Martin Bonjour's goal in the 75th minute gave the Whitecaps a late lead.

The ball was crossed by Davide Chiumiento from the right wing and after a friendly touch by Alain Rochat it found its way to the Argentine defender at the top of the box.

After a brief hesitation the 27-year-old MLS rookie belted a right-footed shot to the top right of the net for his first goal.

"Davide gave me a beautiful ball," said Bonjour through a translator. "I just stopped the ball and thought about putting it to the net because it was the right time to do it."

His coach noticed Bonjour's overall effort Wednesday.

"Martin scored a good goal and had an excellent night," said Rennie. "He kept Kenny Cooper quiet, and he's a very good player."

Cannon made five saves for the Whitecaps.

New York (8-4-3) goalie Ryan Meara failed to stop the only shot on target by Vancouver.

"You play a good team, play them away and they haven't let in many goals this season," said New York's coach Jan Halvorsen. "We scored a goal and earned a point. I'm very happy with that. Sometimes you can be happy with one point."

The Red Bulls played without the services of designated players Thierry Henry and Rafa Marquez, who also missed New York's 3-1 loss to the Chicago Fire on Sunday that snapped a six-game unbeaten streak. …

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