New England Soccer Today

Defeat in Big D

Seconds away from heading back to Foxboro with four points from a two-game road trip, the New England Revolution saw a scoreless draw turn into a 1-0 defeat to FC Dallas with a series of errors. The kickoff to final whistle effort that had been so prevalent in the Revs two game winning streak disappeared late in stoppage time as an unnecessary foul and lackadaisical marking allowed Ugo Ihemelu to head in the game-winner.

Ihemelu’s goal came after AJ Soares was whistled for a foul on Blas Perez in the fourth minute of the originally called for three minutes of stoppage time. A minute later, Zach Loyd took the free kick, curling the ball over the wall where Ihemelu was there uncontested to head it past goalkeeper Matt Reis.

It was an unfortunate ending for a Revs team that had defended well all night and particularly for Soares whose foul led to the game-winner after what otherwise may have been a man of the match performance.

The Revs started the match slowly, looking tired after a great victory in Los Angeles over the weekend. But despite looking a step slow, it was the Revs who threatened first with rookie Kelyn Rowe forcing Kevin Hartman to punch his long shot wide in the 8th minute.

After Rowe’s chance, it was all Dallas for the rest of the half. Up first was Blas Perez with a chance in the 20th minute off a Fabian Castillo cross. Castillo, who caused the Revs defense problems all night, sent in a cross from the right flank, but Perez shot wide from close range.

Castillo wreaked havoc again in the 30th minute after beating two Revolution defenders off of a Perez pass. The 19-year-old Colombian ran in on goal, but couldn’t direct his shot on frame.

German Florian Lechner, making his first start for the Revolution in place of Kevin Alston, faced an onslaught of attacks all night. U.S. International Brek Shea used his pace with great success against Lechner and ran in on goal in the 34th minute only to see his shot destined for inside the far post denied by a kick save from Reis.

Dallas kept up the pressure the rest of the half, but the Revs defense managed to keep them away from the net.

New England came out a bit stronger after the break and some nice work in the box from Lee Nguyen set up Saer Sene for a chance in the 57th minute. The French forward blasted a shot on frame from a tight angle, but Hartman was equal to the task.

Jose “Pepe” Moreno came on for his MLS debut in the 78th minute and nearly made an impact just four minutes later. Moreno blasted a shot from 25 yards that forced a difficult save from Hartman.

Reis looked to have preserved the shutout just three minutes from the end of regulation. The veteran ‘keeper came up with an acrobatic save to deny a deflected Brek Shea shot that was targeted for upper corner.

But, it wasn’t to be. Soares appeared to pick up an injury on a late Fire attack and the Revs passed on an opportunity to kick the ball out and let the second year defender receive treatment. Instead, Soares committed the foul on Perez leading to the winning goal.

The Revs fell to 2-3-0 (6 points) with the loss, while FC Dallas improved to 2-2-1 (7 points).

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