New England Soccer Today

Fire Escape

Despite being outshot 17 to four, the New England Revolution managed to leave Toyota Park with a 1-1 draw against the Chicago Fire thanks to Bobby Shuttleworth’s stoppage time penalty kick save. Quincy Amarikwa opened the scoring in the 16th minute, but Lee Nguyen tied it for New England with a 31st minute penalty kick.

The Revolution were handed a man advantage in the 73rd minute when Amarikwa was sent off, but were still largely outplayed by the Fire before Chicago was awarded a stoppage time penalty kick with a chance to get the win. Only Shuttleworth’s double save—first on Juan Luis Anangonó’s penalty and then on Jeff Larentowicz’s follow-up—allowed the Revolution to return home with a point.

The draw, the Fire’s record sixth straight, leaves Chicago (0-1-6, 6 points) in ninth place in the East, while the Revolution (2-3-2, 8 points) currently sit in fourth place.

New England made one change to the starting line-up that won 2-0 against the Houston Dynamo in Foxboro last weekend with Darrius Barnes replacing the injured Jose Goncalves and playing right back with Andrew Farrell starting in the center.

After both teams struggled to create chances early, the Fire hit New England on the break in the 16th minute. Former Revolution midfielder and current Fire captain Jeff Larentowicz won the ball in midfield and played it to rookie midfielder Harrison Shipp. Shipp then played a long through ball to Quincy Amarikwa, who beat the Revolution’s offside trap, appearing to be held onside by Andrew Farrell. Amarikwa ran in on goal, held off Farrell and slotted a shot past Bobby Shuttleworth to give the Fire a 1-0 lead with his fourth goal of the season.

Chicago nearly doubled their lead in the 27th minute, with Amarikwa again leading the attack. This time Amarikwa found Shipp in the center, who laid it off for Patrick Nyarko. Nyarko blasted a shot on frame that Shuttleworth saved, and Larentowicz’s shot off the rebound was deflected wide.

New England got the equalizer in the 31st minute after Daigo Kobayashi played Kevin Alston down the left flank. Alston outpaced his man into the box, but went down under pressure from Nyarko and referee Sorin Stoica immediately pointed to the spot. Lee Nguyen stepped up to take the penalty and hit it to the lower corner, just out of reach of a diving Sean Johnson. Nguyen’s goal would be the Revolution’s only shot of the half.

Two minutes later the Fire had a PK shout of their own, when Amarikwa went down between two Revolution defenders trying to cut into the box. This time Stoica gave the Revolution the free kick and yellow carded Amarikwa for simulation.

The Fire continued on the front foot in the second half and came close to taking the lead in the 58th minute off a corner kick. Shipp found Larentowicz, who powered a header on frame, but Shuttleworth managed to collect the shot.

The Revolution got a man advantage in 73rd minute when Amarikwa was ejected after receiving his second yellow card for a late challenge on Andy Dorman.

Chicago still had a chance to take the lead in the 79th minute when a dangerous Lovel Palmer cross found Bakary Soumare. Soumare attempted an acrobatic volley, but Farrell managed to get in the way to block the shot out for a corner.

The visitors finally looked to have a chance to take advantage of their man advantage in the 87th minute when Teal Bunbury had a break down the wing and sent a low cross to the far post. Bunbury’s service snuck through the defense and found an open Chris Tierney at the far post, but the substitute weakly hit his shot right at Johnson, who easily blocked the effort.

Chicago then had a fantastic opportunity for a stoppage time winner.  Jhon Kennedy Hurtado played a long ball forward that found an uncovered Mike Magee, despite New England’s man advantage. Magee ran into the box and hit a shot that beat Shuttleworth, but was denied by the far post. The ball then deflected off substitute Juan Luis Anangonó towards goal, but Alston cleared it off the line.  Victor Pineda got to the rebound and blasted a shot on frame that Alston again blocked, but this time Stoica ruled it was a hand ball and awarded the Fire a penalty, while ejecting Alston for handling on the line.

Anangonó stepped up to take the penalty, but he hit it down the middle, where Shuttleworth made the saved. The rebound fell to Larentowicz, but Shuttleworth again denied the effort and the Revolution were able to escape with the draw.

New England returns to action on Saturday, April 26th with a 7:30 p.m. match against defending MLS Cup Champion Sporting Kansas City at Gillette Stadium.


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