New England Soccer Today

More Controversy as Revs Draw Again

Amid an early season which has already seen 34 games worth of questionable refereeing decisions, Sunday afternoon was no different as the Revolution and Orlando City drew 2-2 in a match that featured a pair of controversial stoppage time strikes.

The game got off to a rough start for the Revolution after Julio Baptista made a strong first impression in his debut start with Orlando City, drawing a penalty kick after getting tangled up with Je-Vaughn Watson 14 seconds into the match. Moments later, Kaka stepped up to take the penalty kick and converted, giving the home side an early advantage.

The Revolution took control of the game for the next 30 minutes, controlling the ball and peppering shots at net, though they failed to register a shot on target until the 37th minute.

It was that 37th minute shot, however, that turned out to be the breakthrough. A deflected cross from Chris Tierney into the box found the foot of an unmarked Teal Bunbury in front of goal. Bunbury rocketed a shot into the top shelf to tie the game at one apiece.

While Orlando City showed a spark of fight after the goal, the Revs continued to win the possession battle and ended the half with 58.1 percent possession and outshot the hosts 11-5.

The dynamic of the game remained unchanged at the start of the second half, with both teams swapping minor chances back and forth until the 65th minute.

Kaka dribbled deep into the box on the left side of goal and crossed the ball past Shuttleworth, who was out of position. Cyle Larin, who entered the game in the 60th minute, had a clear shot at goal, but Je-Vaughn Watson prevented a go-ahead goal by swerving around Larin and tipping the ball away to Shuttleworth.

The introduction of Larin shifted the possession game into Orlando’s favor for the first time in the match as they kept the ball in the Revolution’s side of the pitch.

In the final 10 minutes, the game opened up and both teams registered a number of chances to break open the game. Lee Nguyen got around the back line and had only the keeper to beat, but his angle was cut down by Orlando keeper Joe Bendik, and his shot was turned away.

Minutes later, former Revolution defender Kevin Alston streaked into the box unmarked and volleyed a rocket that went over the bar. In the 89th minute, Kevin Molino placed a shot in the top right side of goal, but Shuttleworth made a diving stop, turning the ball over the bar for a corner.

Controversy erupted in stoppage time when Molino gathered a loose ball and pushed the ball past Shuttleworth to give Orlando the lead. A replay of the scoring sequence showed Molino use his arm to guide the ball in front of him before his shot, but the offense went uncalled, much to the chagrin of the guests.

With a point looking like a lost cause, the Revolution nevertheless pushed down the field in the closing moments hopeful for a break – which is exactly what they got. Nguyen swung a cross into the box before it deflected off a Servando Carrasco’s shoulder about a yard deep inside the box. Referee Baldomero Toledo originally awarded a free kick before changing his mind and pointing to the spot, where Nguyen converted it to give the Revolution a last-gasp point.

The aftermath of the game was strong with the crowd booing and throwing things onto the field following the call. Orlando City coach Adrian Heath and Revolution coach Jay Heaps got in a shouting match while walking off the field.

Players and coaches from both sides were visibly angry and upset with Toledo after the game ended as packs from each side refused to drop their appeals of the controversial stoppage time decisions.

The Revs earn their 5th draw in 7 games this season and move to 1-5-1 with 8 points overall and sit in the middle of the Eastern Conference table in 5th place. Orlando City moves to 9 points through 6 matches with a 2-3-1 record in the 2016 campaign.

The Revolution will face DC United at RFK Stadium on Saturday at 5:30 pm.


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