The New England Revolution and New York Red Bulls are making a push toward the playoffs, with both desperate to reverse recent trends.
With the teams winless over their last five combined matches, the sides meet Wednesday night at Harrison, N.J.
New England (7-5-8, 29 points) and New York (7-8-5, 26 points) are close to earning playoff spots in the Eastern Conference. However, the Revolution have earned just one point in their last two games - a 1-1 draw versus Nashville SC on Friday. The Red Bulls have recorded three consecutive ties.
New York needed a last-minute score to earn a 2-2 draw at Chicago on Saturday night. Brian White's third goal of the season, in the second minute of stoppage time, stunned the host Fire and extended the Red Bulls' unbeaten stretch to four matches.
"I think it shows a lot of resilience -- never give up -- even when we go down," White said. "We fight to the very last whistle."
New England got a tying goal from Adam Buksa in the 77th minute to earn that point against Nashville. It was his fifth of the season. Even though the Revolution were unable to grab the full three points, they are 3-0-1 in their last four road games.
New England saw the return of star and captain Carles Gil last week from an Achilles injury that sidelined him for nearly three months. He came on as a sub against Nashville, and it remains to be seen if he is ready to start yet.
"He's a leader for us on and off the field and someone who can really be a game-changer," Revolution midfielder Scott Caldwell said. "So, we're really excited to have him back."
Gil was not on the field when New England played New York to a 1-1 draw on Aug. 29, in Foxborough, Mass.
--Field Level Media
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Aaron Long scored off a corner and a header in the 89th minute, and the New York Red Bulls engineered some late-game magic for a third consecutive contest to pull out a 1-0 win over the New England Revolution on Wednesday night in Harrison, N.J.
After last-minute goals helped the Red Bulls (8-8-5, 29 points) earn draws in each of their last two matches, Long came through with another heroic moment. Off a strong corner drop from Kaku that found the head of Tim Parker, Long pounced on the ball and, off the bounce, tapped in a shot that stunned the Revolution (7-6-8, 29 points) in the waning minutes of regulation.
While both sides are in good position to reach the playoffs in the Eastern Conference, New York is currently amid a 2-0-3 stretch. New England, meanwhile, has just one point over its last three matches.
In the first half each team managed just one official shot on goal apiece, but there was plenty of action in the oppositions' attack third. The sides combined for five corners and 11 overall shots.
It was essentially more of the same in the second half for both squads. New York's Brian White, the star of the club's previous two matches, had two solid chances on and just after the 60-minute mark.
New England found itself in good position to break the scoreless tie through Adam Buksa in the 71st minute. However, Buksa was unable to get enough punch on his straightaway strike that rolled harmlessly into the hands of Red Bulls keeper Ryan Meara, who finished with two saves.
The Revs stepped up the pressure in the final seven minutes of the match, but to no avail.
The loss ended a 3-0-1 road stretch for the Revolution, which had a chance to clinch a postseason spot.