New England Soccer Today

Sound victory

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Needing to claim as many points as possible to stake an improbable playoff push, the New England Revolution posted an impressive 3-1 comeback win over the Seattle Sounders Saturday night at Gillette Stadium.

Chris Tierney

Chris Tierney scored his first professional goal Saturday. (Photo by CHRIS ADUAMA/

Steve Zakuani scored first in the 59th minute to give the Sounders a lead that lasted until Chris Tierney leveled it with his first league goal in the 70th minute. Marko Perovic followed up with the go-ahead in the 73rd before Kheli Dube capped the come-from-behind victory with his first goal of the season in the 81st minute.

“I think tonight’s game speaks for itself,” said Revolution manager Steve Nicol. “To go about it the way we did says all we need to know about our players’ attitude and commitment and the way we stuck together.”

In addition to the club’s cohesion out on the pitch, an aggressive approach also enabled New England to push ahead and force the issue early.

Making a rare appearance on the right, Dube quickly established himself as an attacking catalyst in the 2nd minute when he pushed a pass through to Ilija Stolica, who unleashed a point blank shot that Kasey Keller parried away.

After surviving a set of Revolution advances, the Sounders responded in the 15th when Zakuani made a run toward the post before he deferred back to Mike Seamon, who pounded a shot that Matt Reis punched away.

New England reclaimed possession shortly thereafter and held the Seattle hostage through the half hour. It nearly paid dividends when Perovic and Dube both registered close range shots that screamed wide of frame in the 32nd minute.

“We had a couple of decent chances in the first half,” said Tierney. “That last ball was just missing a little bit.”

After showcasing their new-found firepower for much of the first frame, the Revolution suddenly found themselves under attack from Zakuani and Fredy Montero near the hour.

Taking heavy fire from the right, the Revolution held on until James Riley fed a short pass through traffic to Zakuani dangerously close the Revolution net, where the attacking midfielder did not miss with the opening goal of match in the 59th minute.

Shortly thereafter, tempers flared and the teams briefly converged after Shalrie Joseph and Patrick Ianni adopted aggressive dispositions toward each other and looked ready to go toe-to-toe deep in Sounder territory. Rather than retaliating, the confrontation inspired Revolution to relaunch the attack.

The approach paid off in the 70th minute when Kevin Alston sent a throw in deep into the Seattle box, where Joseph stabbed it, before it deflected toward Tierney, who passively poked it through to tie the match at one apiece.

“I peeled around the back hoping for the deflection to come through,” said Tierney. “I just had to nod it to the side of Keller and luckily it went in.”

The score didn’t remain level for long. Less than three minutes after Tierney’s tally, the go-ahead was seized when Perovic picked up a lost ball and dribbled toward the near post, where he coolly beat Keller for the lead.

Stunned, the Sounders scurried to secure a second score. But any chances of challenging New England came to an abrupt end in the 81st minute when Dube went give and go with Stolica and blasted the insurance goal into the upper ninety to give the striker-turned-midfielder his first goal of the season.

“The ball came from a defender and when I got the ball, I realized Ilija (Stolica) was up there,” said Dube. “So I played one-two with him and he set me up in a good (position).”

Devastated and down two goals with less than ten minutes before time, Seattle sent numbers into the teeth of the Revolution defense. The valiant effort failed to find another goal for the visitors, as the home club came away with a crucial three points.

“We had some chances and couldn’t take them, and obviously going one behind was disappointing to say the least,” said Nicol. “But the players just kept pushing and we got three goals in the end. We deserved to win.”

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  1. Pingback: Player Ratings: New England Revolution vs. Seattle

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