New England Soccer Today

Four in a Row

Photo credit: Chris Aduama/

Photo credit: Chris Aduama/

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – The New England Revolution won their fourth straight match on Sunday night, coming back from an early deficit to defeat the Chicago Fire 2-1 in front of 12,204 at Gillette Stadium. For the second match in a row, the Revolution fell behind early, this time to a 28th minute Sanna Nyassi goal, but equalized before halftime through Diego Fagundez and then grabbed the game winner through Charlie Davies in the 60th minute.

“Real excited with the way we played,” said Revolution head coach Jay Heaps. “It was tough to go down a goal, but I thought our reaction was really good. Two games in a row where we give up the first goal, but our reactions have been really good.”

The win solidifies the Revolution’s (12-12-3, 39 points) third place in the Eastern Conference standings and puts the team just three points back from second place Sporting Kansas City with a game in hand. Chicago (5-7-14, 29 points) remains mired in ninth place in the East.

With New England playing their third game in eight days, Heaps made three changes to the starting line-up that won 3-1 against Sporting Kansas City on Wednesday. Patrick Mullins started over Charlie Davies up top, Diego Fagundez replaced Teal Bunbury on the wings, and Scott Caldwell returned to the line-up in place Daigo Kobayashi.

New England started the brighter team, but Chicago had the best early chance in the 14th minute on a quick counter attack.  Quincy Amarikwa broke into the left side of the box and sent a perfect cross to a wide open Sanna Nyassi making a run to the far post. Nyassi, under no pressure from the defense, attempted a header to the far post, but it was wide of the net.

Nyassi wouldn’t make the same mistake in the 28th, when again he was set up by Amarikwa, who this time sent a cross in from the left flank. Nyassi beat his defender to the ball and headed it past Shuttleworth for his first goal of the year, giving the Fire a 1-0 lead.

Two minutes later the 25-year-old Gambian nearly doubled his tally when he pressured Jermaine Jones into a giveaway. Nyassi ran in alone on goal, but his shot was denied by the near post.

“In that situation I go risk,” said Jones. “I see that I have my guy on my back, but before I go risk, I lose the ball and he hit the post. I was lucky.”

New England had a great chance to equalize in the 37th minute when Lee Nguyen played in a dangerous cross off a set piece from the left flank. The ball fell perfectly to Jones a couple yards from goal, but his effort was well high of the net.

Fagundez knotted it at one a piece in the 41st minute when Jose Goncalves kept a broken corner kick in play on the right flank. Goncalves played a pass around his defender to Nguyen in the right side of the box, who sent a dangerous cross to the far post. Fagundez got free of his defender and easily headed it into the open net to make it 1-1 with his fifth goal of the season.

“I remember when the ball got cleared, Lee took a touch and then when he chipped it across to the far post I just saw the ball coming straight to my head and it was just the goal,” said Fagundez.

Kelyn Rowe tried to put the Revolution ahead in the 56th minute after Fagundez sent a pass to him from the right flank allowing Rowe to run into the box. With a defender onrushing, Rowe hit a low left-footed shot to the near post that Sean Johnson could only tip wide for a corner.

On the ensuing corner Rowe found Darrius Barnes a few yards from goal and the Revolution left back powered a header on frame that Johnson just tipped out for a corner.

Davies entered the game in 58th minute for Mullins and made an impact just two minutes later. U.S. International midfielder Jermaine Jones played a perfect through ball from near midfield that sent Davies behind the defense and the former U.S. International striker did the rest, dribbling forward into the box and then placing a shot past Johnson inside the far post to make it 2-1 with his third goal of the season.

“It was my job to come on the field and change the game,” said Davies. “Obviously I wanted to make an immediate impact and I was fortunate to have Jermaine play me a great ball and as a striker you’ve got to put away those chances and I made sure I took full advantage of it.”

“At that moment I know that with Charlie we have a fast guy in front and he needs the ball into space,” said Jones. “I try to get the guy off my back and get it to Charlie and in the end I’m happy he scores the goal and we win.”

Nguyen had a chance in the 71st minute after playing a ball wide to substitute Teal Bunbury from the top of the box. Bunbury hit a low cross, but it deflected off a defender right to Nguyen, who attempted a volley. His effort was mishit, however and bounced off the turf making for an easy save for Johnson.

The Revolution managed to hold on from there. The team remains home to face last place Montreal on Saturday at 7:30 p.m.

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