Kelyn Rowe and Saer Sene each scored to give the New England Revolution the lead on two separate occasions, but the Chicago Fire fought back, grabbing a 3-2 victory to put a major dent in the Revolution’s playoff hopes.
The loss leaves the Revolution (10-11-7, 37 points) in seventh place in the Eastern Conference, with both the Fire (11-11-6, 39 points) and Houston Dynamo (11-10-7, 40 points) passing them in the standings based on Saturday’s results.
Head coach Jay Heaps made three changes to the line-up that lost 4-2 to the Montreal Impact last weekend. Bobby Shuttleworth replaced the suspended Matt Reis in goal, while Stephen McCarthy replaced the injured AJ Soares at center back and Sene started over Chad Barrett in midfield.
Rowe put the Revolution on top in the 9th minute after getting the ball from a Sene back heel. Rowe launched a looping shot that beat goalkeeper Sean Johnson and gave the visitors a 1-0 lead. The goal was Rowe’s seventh of the season and fifth in the last five games.
The Fire pushed forward seeking a response, and found one through Juan Luis Anangonó in the 30th minute. Joel Lindpere found Anangonó with a through ball and the Ecuadorian forward split the Revolution defense and slotted a shot past Shuttleworth for his first MLS goal. Shuttleworth had denied Anangonó with a diving save 10 minutes earlier.
New England would retake the lead just before halftime through Sene when Dimitry Imbongo played his fellow French striker into the left side of the box. Sene hit a low shot past Johnson and into the far post to make it 2-1.
Sene thought he had made it 3-1 in the 50th minute when Rowe played him behind the defense and he calmly finished past Johnson. Sene goal was disallowed for offside, but replays appeared to show Sene in an onside position when the pass was played.
The Fire piled on the pressure in the 54th minute and only a sliding Andrew Farrell kept Anangonó from getting his second goal of the night with a close range shot.
Mike Magee would find the equalizer a minute later, however, when Patrick Nyarko played him behind the defense in the box. Magee slotted it past Shuttleworth to make it 2-2, while the Revolution protested, seemingly that an off-the-ball foul took José Gonçalves out of the play.
Chicago threatened to take the lead in the 68th minute, but Shuttleworth was well positioned to save Austin Berry’s header off a Jalil Anibaba cross.
Shuttleworth was called into action again in the 75th minute, this time getting just enough on a Mike Magee free kick to tip it wide.
New England came close to retaking the lead in the 83rd minute when a Farrell cross found Rowe inside the box. Rowe directed a header on frame, but Johnson was able to tip it high for a corner kick.
The Fire finally scored the game winner in the 86th minute through Alex. A Magee corner kick, was headed out by Gonçalves, but fell right to Alex outside the box. Alex blasted a low shot that beat Shuttleworth inside the post.
New England was unable to find an answer and fell to their eleventh loss of the season
The Revolution return to action on Saturday, September 21, with a home game against D.C. United.