New England Soccer Today

SuperLiga Lost

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Kevin Alston’s first career goal wasn’t enough to steer the Revolution to a second SuperLiga Championship, as Monarcas Morelia secured the title with a 2-1 victory Wednesday night at Gillette Stadium.

Morelia midfielder Miguel Sabah, who scored via penalty kick in the 65th minute and from the run of play in the 75th minute, provided the visitors with a lead they did not relinquish. Alston’s goal in the 79th minute cut the lead in half, but New England came up short in the end.

Kevin Alston, seen here holding off Morelia's Hugo Droguett, scored his first goal as a professional in the SuperLiga Final. (Photo by CHRIS ADUAMA/

“Monarcas were better on the ball than we were,” said Revolution manager Steve Nicol. “But saying that, the only thing that caused us problems were our errors from bad play, of which there were too many.”

It was obvious that the Revolution’s play betrayed them in the first half, as they struggled to keep pace with their opponents. As a result, Monarcas dominated possession for much of the match and nearly capitalized early when Ismael Pineda and Mauricio Romero both fired fierce shots off the crossbar before the half hour.

“We worked hard in the first half and had a lot of shots on goal,” said Monarcas manager Tomas Boy. “In the second half, we became more precise.”

Although they managed to keep Monarcas scoreless in the first frame, New England’s lack of possession caught up with them when Luis Gabriel Rey, who had tormented the Revolution defenders all night, was pulled down inside the box by Revolution centerback Darrius Barnes. The spot was pointed to, and Sabah stepped up converted to give his club the lead in the 65th minute.

Nicol attempted to address his side’s inefficiency on the attack by inserting a host of attack-minded substitutions, as Zach Schilawski, Roberto Linck and Khano Smith were sent on to help bolster the attack.

The only problem was that Sabah wasn’t finished. Ten minutes after his penalty kick gave Monarcas the lead, he added another when he volleyed Barnes’ failed clearance past Matt Reis to make it a two goal game fifteen minutes from time.

“It was a beautiful goal,” said Boy. “Sabah is an unpredictable goalscorer. He can score any kind of goal.”

But the Revs refused to wave the white flag. Minutes after Sabah’s wonder goal, the Revolution reformed their attack and charged deep into the Monarcas half. Once there, Schilawski sent a give and go ahead to Alston, who slotted it through to cut the deficit in half at the 79th minute.

“I just kind of peeled off and got the ball facing goal and I saw Kevin,” said Schilawski. “The whole thing happens because he makes a great run. He’s aggressive in getting out of the back and finished it well.”

Energized by the late strike, the Revolution sent numbers ahead, hungry to find the equalizer. With up to five attackers buzzing in the vicinity of Monaracas keeper Federico Vilar, the boys in navy blue kept at it, hoping to level the score.

With a pair of last gasps in stoppage, the Revolution nearly equalized when Joseph sent a header that sailed over the bar. Seconds later Linck launched a pass across to Cory Gibbs, who rifled a shot that was stoutly saved by Vilar in the waning moments.

After Monarcas claimed the trophy, the Revolution somberly looked ahead to the challenge of claiming points in league play.

“We have a handful of games left and we’re pretty far out of the playoff picture,” said Revolution keeper Matt Reis. “We really have to hunker down and get some results.”

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