It turns out that the best defense isn’t a good offense, after all.
After mounting an early-two goal lead, the Revolution defense conceded a season-high four goals en route to a frenzied 4-3 defeat to the Crew on Saturday.
Ryan Guy (17′) and Jerry Bengtson (23′) each scored to open up a surprising, multi-goal margin on the road. The Crew responded in kind thanks to a pair of Federico Higuain free kick blasts (26’, 43’) that sandwiched Jairo Arrieta’s first strike (32’). Lee Nguyen brought one back for the Revolution from the spot (81’) before Arrieta delivered the decider (86’) in the waning minutes.
Sensing the need to squeeze three points from the Crew, the Revolution adopted a high line early – and nearly paid the price thrice as the Crew were whistled offside three times in the first nine minutes.
Even so, the Revolution certainly weren’t apologizing for it in the 17th minute. After missing on a free header minutes earlier, Guy fired the opening salvo when he ripped a Kelyn Rowe ball from distance into the net.
Six minutes later, the Revolution made it a two-goal lead when Benny Feilhaber sent a long, skipping pass down the left that Bengtson chased down. Andy Gruenebaum came off his line to snuff it out, but the Honduran striker poked it away before pushing through in the 23rd minute.
Game over? Not quite. Even though the Crew hadn’t scored more than two goals in game this season, the Crew used their two newest weapons to claw back into the match.
In the 26th minute, Stephen McCarthy was called for a foul on Eddie Gaven a few yards outside of the area. Moments later, an explosive free kick from Higuain found the back of the net to cut the lead in half.
The scoreline leveled itself seven minutes later when Milovan Mirosevic played it ahead to Arrieta, who casually chipped it over Reis to make it a 2-2 game.
Minutes before the interval, Higuain took another bow after he blasted another free kick masterpiece from 25 yards to give his club their first lead of the game in the 43rd minute.
Yes, the Revolution must have wondered how their early lead so easily escaped them. Yet, they certainly didn’t dwell on it for long.
Instead, the Revolution went to work. In the 51st minute, Sene went ahead and played it through to Feilhaber toward the near post. But substitute keeper Matt Lampson closed in to snuff out the opportunity.
However, the Crew resumed their attacking prowess for the next 20 minutes. As the Revolution struggled to hold onto the ball, the Crew crashed through on a two-on-two break into the area that saw Higuain defer to Gaven, who pounded a dangerous shot in the 65th minute.
Gaven knocked on the door again when his 80th minute rocket looked like it’d put the game out of reach. But that was until Matt Reis made a full-extension stop to deny the Crew a fourth goal – for now, at least.
The tables turned a minute later when Diego Fagundez grabbed a long ball and took it into the 18 before he was hauled down by Julius James. A penalty was given and Nguyen whipped it though to even it at three all.
There was just one problem for the Revolution, though: Arrieta wasn’t finished. And in the 86th minute, the Costa Rican poacher bagged the game-winner to extend the Revolution’s winless streak to eight.
New England returns to action on Wednesday against Chivas USA at Gillette Stadium. The match will mark the return of former Revolution captain Shalrie Joseph, who was traded to the Goats on Aug. 1.