New England Soccer Today

Missed Chances Doom Wasteful Revs

Photo credit: New England Revolution

Photo credit: New England Revolution

NEW YORK – The difference between walking away with a result and going home empty handed can often be measured in small increments, such as inches and seconds. Just ask the Revolution.

After David Villa put New York City ahead on one-two exchange with Ned Grabavoy, the locals had plenty of chances to file a response. But on each occasion, the precision required to convert them into goals was missing, and as a result, the Revolution were forced to stomach a 2-0 loss on Sunday.

“We should’ve scored a bunch of times, myself included,” Revolution left back Chris Tierney said. “We had a lot of really good opportunities. We moved the ball well, and we created chances. We just couldn’t put the ball in the back of the net.”

The record will show that Tierney and his teammates had plenty of opportunities to punch the old onion bag, both before and after Villa’s goal.

Inside of eight minutes, Tierney, who found plenty of space to roam out on the left with the hosts flooding the middle channel, sent a cross far post. Kelyn Rowe made the run to meet it, but sent his volley over the bar.

To his credit, Rowe remained dangerous, and nearly orchestrated the equalizer in the 29th minute. He sent a low corner to that somehow slipped through to the far post, where Lee Nguyen arrived a moment too soon, and saw the chance roll behind him.

After knocking on the door for much of the first half, it appeared the Revolution were ready to barge through in the 42nd minute. Diego Fagundez floated a ball forward to Juan Agudelo, who escaped Jason Hernandez in the box and was primed to put the chance away. The idea was there, but the execution was not, as Agudelo’s header fell right into the chest of Josh Saunders.

“I think we were there,” Revolution coach Jay Heaps said. “I have to go back and look at it on film, but in my mind, there were four or five clear chances – not half chances, clear chances – that would’ve been nice for us to finish and score.”

While sharpness was clearly an issue for the Revolution in the final third, Tierney was quick to point out that something else was missing, as well.

“At the end of the day, you also need luck, too,” Tierney said. “We didn’t have any luck tonight. There were plenty of balls that, six inches the other way, it’s a goal.”

Whatever the Revolution’s luck may have been during the first half, it became increasingly evident that the window had been shut on any potential equalizer during the second half.

New York City came out of the break motivated and anxious to press the Revolution whenever they had possession –a tactic that allowed the hosts to outshoot their guests 16-2 during the final 45.

“They made adjustments, and they were good ones,” Tierney said. “They worked in their favor. We just couldn’t get a hold of the ball in the second half for whatever reason.”

All told, the Revolution fired a total of 11 shots during Sunday’s affair, and only put one of them on target. Whether they missed by yards, feet or inches, the fact of the matter is that they simply weren’t up to snuff in the final third on Sunday. And as a result, they fell into the loss column for the second straight week.

“You go home with zero points if you don’t take your chances,” Heaps said.

It’s as simple as that.

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