New England Soccer Today

Heaps: ‘We Didn’t Put the Game Away Early’

Photo credit: Chris Aduama/

Photo credit: Chris Aduama/

Friday’s closing-time collapse may have been tough to stomach for the Revolution, but according to coach Jay Heaps, the waning moments isn’t where the squad truly fell short in the 2-2 draw at the Citrus Bowl.

Despite dominating the first half, all the Revolution had to show for it was a slim one goal margin, which could’ve been widened with better finishing front of goal.

“We could’ve been up more,” Heaps told the media after the match. “I think, ultimately, that’s what cost us the game. We didn’t put the game away early enough.”

The Revolution came out strong, and used high pressure to back the technically-sound Orlando City into its own half. And it was only a matter of time before the breakthrough arrived.

In the 19th minute, Scott Caldwell pickpocketed Amobi Okugo and sent it ahead from Charlie Davies. The Revolution raced at goal, and fired a shot that beat Donovan Ricketts to put the guests ahead.

That movement opened the door for back-to-back, point blank chances in the 41st minute. Chris Tierney whipped a cross into the box for London Woodberry, whose shot smacked off the post. The rebound fell to Davies, who watched his header kiss the crossbar before it was ushered out of harm’s way.

“I thought we did everything right in the first half,” Heaps said. “If we finished the half with another goal, then we could’ve taken a breath a little bit.”

Although Heaps may have been disappointed with the scoreline at the half, Kelyn Rowe finally grabbed the elusive encore to Davies’ opener in the 71st minute. But not long after, the Lions came back with a fury.

With the Revolution dropping numbers, Rafael Ramos crossed it for Cyle Larin, who towered over Jermaine Jones and steered it through to cut the lead in half at the 75th minute.

“What I don’t like,” Jones told the media after the match, “is that if you score goals so late, and you’re 2-0 in front, the whole team has to work more (defensively), and you have to sit back and don’t give so much space for Orlando, and they used it.”

Space wasn’t the issue in the 90th minute when Aurelien Collin scored the equalizer. While the Lions’ center back found himself in cramped quarters when Luke Boden crossed it in the box, Collin muscled his way over Jones and Andy Dorman to erase the deficit.

“We know that they have guys who can cross the balls really good,” Jones said. “They scored two goals from crosses, and in that light, it’s too easy.”

While many will cite the late-game gaffes as the reason for the disappointing draw, there’s little doubt that the missed opportunities of the first half allowed Orlando City to sneak back into the match.

“The overall flow of the game – it was some our best stuff, and some of our worst stuff all in one,” Heaps said. “So we have some film to look at, and we’ll keep going.”


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