New England Soccer Today

Revs Rue Missed Opportunities

Revolution defender Jose Goncalves' lone mistake on Sunday led to Toronto's game-winning goal. (Photo: Kari Heistad/capturedimages.biz)

Revolution defender Jose Goncalves’ lone mistake on Sunday led to Toronto’s game-winning goal. (Photo: Kari Heistad/capturedimages.biz)

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – No team is ever keen to concede an early goal, but even after the Revolution gave up a second minute strike to Toronto on Sunday, the hosts had to like their chances.

With 88 minutes to level it, and their 2-1 comeback victory a week earlier in D.C. still fresh in their minds, there was little reason to believe that the Revolution couldn’t climb out of the early deficit.

But even with plenty of time and opportunities to pull even against one of the worst defenses in the conference, the Revolution were left to wonder “what if?” in the wake of the 1-0 loss.

“We should have been able to get back in it,” Revolution head coach Jay Heaps said after the game. “We didn’t. But I’m not going to sit here and not credit Toronto. They got the win, and we didn’t.”

Although Matias Laba’s singular effort inside of two minutes put the hosts on their heels early, the Revolution went to work on filing a response against a team mired in ninth place.

However, it became patently evident even before the halftime whistle that, simply put, Sunday night was not going to be the Revolution’s night.

In the first half alone, Diego Fagundez had not one, but two, certain goals cleared away by Ashtone Morgan and Richard Eckersley within 16 minutes of each other. Meanwhile, goalkeeper Joe Bendik did his part to frustrate the Revolution.

“We created plenty of chances in the first half,” Revolution midfielder Lee Ngyuen said after the fame. “(But) none of them were able to fall (through).”

With Toronto content to drop numbers, it didn’t get much easier for the Revolution in the second half. The attack, which had scored four second half goals in their last two games, were repeatedly repelled by a swarm of defenders inside the final third.

“We kept putting ourselves into a deeper hole in the second half by continuing to not being able to finish,” Nguyen said. “It’s always tough to breakdown a team that plays 11 men behind the ball like that.”

All hope wasn’t lost for the hosts even though Toronto’s gameplan was working like a charm. In the 90th minute, Nguyen had a tantalizing chance to level it when he brought down a long pass from Kelyn Rowe near the left post. But Bendik reacted well to it, and walled up the inside the post to prevent Nguyen from scoring.

And just when Fagundez thought his streak of poor luck had expired, he ripped a remarkable volley that, for a split second, was destined for the back of the net for a potential stoppage-time strike. But the shot crashed off the post, and the Revolution were left to rue their misfortune.

“We gave them a gift in the first two minutes and it’s always tough to climb back like that,” Nguyen said. “We fought hard, tried to put ourselves in a position to tie in the first half and try to get a goal. It just wasn’t our day today.”

One Comment

  1. Robert

    August 7, 2013 at 8:08 am

    Big Game to lose with the Dynamo 3 pts ahead and Sporting next on the slate in KC. There were positives in the game, though, with some decent scoring opportunities. Bendik played well, and, as said, he was helped twice with great plays off the line. Still, it will be more than a challenge to go into Sporting Park and come away with 3 pts – especially with KC coming off a frustrating loss. But – this is why they play the games

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