If the Revolution’s 1-0 loss to the Union on Saturday bore an uncanny resemblance to the previous week’s 2-0 defeat to the Dynamo, it’s because the local XI fell into an all-too-familiar script at Philadelphia.
Not only did the Revolution struggle to create scoring opportunities, but they allowed their opponent to dominate the midfield and take advantage from the flanks. As a result, New England found itself on the wrong side of the scoreboard.
“It’s the same story,” Revolution left back Kevin Alston told RevsWrap after the game. “We fought, we had our chances (and) we couldn’t put those chances away. Set pieces and letting in goals toward the end of the game killed us again.”
First, the chances. There weren’t many for the Revolution early, especially during a first half in which their possession stat sunk below 40 percent.
Their best chance of the night arrived in the 29th minute when Jerry Bengtson played a give-and-go with Diego Fagundez at the edge of the box. On the return pass, Bengtson found himself alone with only Union keeper Zac MacMath to beat at the left post -- the same left post that stopped the Revolution striker from scoring an easy goal.
“It’s not good enough on our end,” Revolution coach Jay Heaps told RevsWrap after the game. “At this point, we have to finish our chances on the road. We hit the post, and we didn’t finish our chances.”
Next, the fight. After an unsettling first half, the guests asserted themselves with greater frequency in the second frame. Their possession improved. Their advances became sharper. They looked like a team that wanted to steal three points from Philadelphia.
At least that was the intention.
With the Union hungry to extend its unbeaten streak against their conference foes, the hosts did their guests one better.
In the 73rd minute, Keon Daniel launched a set piece cross from the right flank that found Jack McInerney at the back post. A split-second later, the ball was in the back of the net. Once again, the Revolution fell into a late-game deficit.
Of course, there was plenty of time to dig out an equalizer. Benny Feilhaber and Fernando Cardenas sparked the attack in the latter stages. Feilhaber went forward with purpose and Cardenas used his speed to sneak though the Union defense.
“I thought we rallied well into the second half,” Heaps said. “(We) had a little bit more possession and some more opportunities.”
Then, two minutes from full time, it all fell apart. Feilhaber was awarded his second caution in as many minutes. Doomed to 10 men for the remainder, all the Revolution could do was hope for a break to fall their way. It never came.
“We’re right there,” Alston said. “We haven’t quite got it yet. We’re fighting all game. We’re creating chances, but we can’t quite put it together.”