INDIANAPOLIS -- Four days earlier in Atlanta, the Indy Eleven gave up a last-second goal and had a win and three points in the standings taken from them.
The same situation occurred Wednesday night at Lucas Oil Stadium, where Indy hosted the Pittsburgh Riverhounds. But this time, the Eleven were on the right end of the deal.
Playing with a man advantage after a Riverhound was sent off late, the Eleven's top sniper, Jack McInerney, saved the day for his side, and his goal in stoppage time earned Indy a 2-all draw
The Eleven got their seventh straight result (win or tie), against a side three spots ahead of them in the United Soccer League Eastern Conference ladder. Indy improved to 11-7-8 with 40 points.
"The first thing is, I'm really happy with the never-say-die attitude, because we're on a long run of games and we're now seven games unbeaten," Indy coach Martin Rennie said. "Sometimes in those games, you have to dig in and show your character, and I thought we did that."
Indy was playing the fifth of seven games in 22 days. The Eleven's last defeat was July 21 at Tampa Bay, and they hadn't lost at home since July 4, 1-0 to Ottawa.
McInerney took a feed from Ben Speas inside the 6-yard box and beat two diving Hounds, including goalkeeper Michael Kirk. The goal came in the second of four extra minutes and was McInerney's second of the night.
It was also the eighth goal of the year and seventh since July 1 for McInerney, a veteran of eight Major League Soccer seasons who joined the Eleven this year.
The tying goal occurred after Pittsburgh's Ray Coe, who had entered as a substitute just minutes earlier, was issued a straight red card in the 86th minute for a violent tackle.
McInerney opened the scoring in the fourth minute, off a steal by Matt Watson. Kirk came out to the 25-yard line to play the ball, and McInerney easily beat the keeper and put it away.
"One of the things that we forget about Jack McInerney is by the age of 23, he had scored around 50 goals in MLS and (other competitions)," Rennie said. "Then he was behind some fantastic players, and when he came here this was kind of a rebuilding job for him and for us. But now, he is doing what we think he can do, which is score goals."
Pittsburgh's Joe Greenspan scored in the first extra minute of the first half on a free kick to level the score. The Eleven allowed a goal to Atlanta United 2 (15th place in the East) just seconds from the final whistle Saturday, after six minutes of stoppage time, and had to settle for a 1-all draw.
The Riverhounds (12-4-9, 45 points) took the lead in the 59th minute, on a set piece by Christiano Francois.
In the ensuing minutes, Kirk made several brilliant saves to preserve the lead for his side, but after Coe was ejected, Kirk and his mates could only do so much, and they were helpless on the tying goal.
Rennie said it was fortunate for his team the referee didn't let the game drag on and Pittsburgh didn't get any extra chances, unlike against Atlanta, where he felt the extra time was excessive.
"This was a very important point for us, because staying unbeaten (in seven games) against a team that's a rival to us was very important," Rennie said. "I take a lot from tonight, and I take a lot of pleasure from the late goal."
The Eleven host the Richmond Kickers on Saturday and New York Red Bulls II next Wednesday.