DARIEN — A tie wasn’t the worst thing that could’ve happened to Darien and New Canaan, but it wasn’t the best either.

The two rivals played to a 1-1 draw in boys soccer Thursday afternoon at Darien High School, with New Canaan getting on the board in the first half and Darien netting the equalizer in the second.

“Obviously we wanted to come and win the game,” New Canaan coach Rich Sutherland said. “We put in ourselves in a position to win the game after the first half but I though they gave us a bit of a pounding the second half, they put everything in the box and put us under a lot of pressure.”

In the first half the Rams (0-2-1) struck when Vincent Altamura outran his defender and scored from the right wing 19 minutes in.

After that the teams played more even until the second half when Darien was able to sustain a little bit of pressure, culminating in a Jack Kniffin strike from just outside the box on the left side at the 27 minute mark.

“The goal was outstanding and for 10 minutes after that I thought we were all over them,” Darien coach Jon Bradley said.

Despite moving the ball well the Blue Wave (1-1-1) faltered at times when they got within striking range.

“We were flat in the first half,” said Bradley of his team’s biggest flaw in the young season. “Second half we weren’t creative enough, their goalie made one great save, but we have to be more creative when we get to the top of the penalty box, every time we got 15-20 yards from the goal we just broke down.”

That great save by Sam Stoner came when Darien’s Andrew Matthew unloaded on a sinking line-drive from just past midfield. Kushner jumped at the last second and with one hand deflected the ball over the crossbar.

Not to be outdone, the Wave’s Liam Rischmann made his own great play with just under a minute remaining in the game when the Ram’s Christopher Reiss got passed his defender with a clear lane to the net, Rischmann abandoned the goal and just beat Reiss to the ball, kicking it safely to midfield.

In all three contests it has played New Canaan has held a lead but been unable to hang on. After facing Stamford and Brien McMahon to start the year Sutherland lauded his team’s work ethic and ability to stay up after a tough loss.

“I’ll definitely take a point after the three losses,” Sutherland said. “They’ve played three hard games and I think they’ve been excellent in all three, I think we’ve been unlucky to get only one point out of the three but it is what it is.”

aparelli@bcnnew.com

NEW CANAAN 1, DARIEN 1

DARIEN 0 1—1

NEW CANAAN 1 0—1

Records: Darien 1-1-1, New Canaan 0-2-1. Goals: D—Jack Kniffin; NC—Vincent Altamura. Assists: D—Jason Flynn. Goalies: D—Liam Rischmann (4 saves); NC—Sam Stoner (8). Shots: D—13; NC—6.