New England Soccer Today

Revolution Held to Draw in Chicago

Photo credit: Chris Aduama/

Photo credit: Chris Aduama/

Lee Nguyen and Kelyn Rowe strikes bookended two Chicago Fire goals, but questionable refereeing decisions proved costly as the New England Revolution had to settle for a 2-2 draw in Bridgeview, Ill. Nguyen opened the scoring in the 28th minute, but a controversial penalty allowed the Fire to equalize in the 44th minute. Razvan Cocis would put the Fire in the lead in the 75th minute, but Rowe would equalize two minutes later and a only couple more refereeing decisions kept New England from finding a late winner.

Revolution head coach Jay Heaps made just one change to the team that won 1-0 over New York City FC in Foxboro last weekend with Jose Goncalves returning from suspension to replace London Woodberry at center back. Jeremy Hall kept his spot at right back and Brad Knighton got another start in goal, despite Bobby Shuttleworth being cleared to return this week.

Chicago had the best early chance off a 23rd minute corner. The ball fell to an open Razvan Cocis just a few yards from goal, but he slipped and missed a golden opportunity for the Fire.

New England took the lead through Nguyen in the 28th minute after some nice work by Scott Caldwell on the left flank. Caldwell sent in a dangerous low ball across the box that Sean Johnson got to, but pushed only as far as Nguyen, who slotted it past the Fire ‘keeper to give the Revolution a 1-0 lead.

David Accam came close to responding four minutes later after he weaved though the Revolution backline, but his shot was too weakly hit to cause Knighton much trouble.

But the Fire would equalize in the 44th minute after earning a penalty kick when Goncalves was whistled for a foul on Accam after a big save from Knighton off a corner sent the rebound to Accam at the top of the box. Replays seemed to show it was a clean tackle from Goncalves, but Referee Ricardo Salazar was quick to point to the spot. Shaun Maloney stepped up to take the penalty and hit into the lower corner, out of reach of a diving Knighton.

The Fire threatened to take the lead 15 minutes into the second half after a poor turnover from New England. Cocis picked up the ball about 40 yards out and dribbled forward to just outside the box, before making a diagonal run and finding space to launch a shot. His powerful effort was just wide of the net.

Then in the 63rd minute a near own goal came close to costing the Fire. A Chris Tierney free kick was put into the box, where Cocis attempted to clear, but instead directed it towards his own goal, where only the post kept it from going in.

Chicago would take the lead in the 75th minute off a corner kick. Daigo Kobayashi blocked Joevin Jones’ initial shot, but Adailton then headed the rebound to Matt Watson. Watson’s shot was saved by Knighton, but the rebound fell to Cocis, who directed it in from close range.

Less than two minutes later, however, substitute Kelyn Rowe would equalize for the Revolution. Good hold-up work from Juan Agudelo, who had just come off the bench, eventually got the ball to Tierney on the wing. Tierney sent a low cross in front of frame that some ball-watching from the Fire allowed Rowe to get to and slot in.

Some questionable refereeing cost the Revolution a winner in the 80th minute when Nguyen was taken out on a poor tackle from Eric Gehrig. The ball came through to Charlie Davies on the play who ran in and scored, but Davies was whistled offside on the play and the referee called the play back and gave the Revolution the free kick. Replays showed Davies may have been onside on the play.

New England then had a penalty shout in the 87th minute when Matt Polster knocked down a Rowe cross with his hand while challenging Davies for the ball. Salazar waved off the protests.

The Revolution had one last chance in the last minute of stoppage time when Nguyen played a beautiful through ball to send Rowe behind the defense. Rowe sent a low cross attempting to find Davies, but it was just too far in front of the Revolution striker, who would’ve had an easy tap-in.

The Revolution return home to face Toronto FC on Saturday, Aug. 1.

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