Revs stay strong in see-saw battle
In a wild, offensively-charged affair that saw four goals scored within a 17-minute span, the Revolution outlasted the Crew 3-2 and secured a much-needed three points before a season-high 26,548 crowd at Gillette Stadium.
“You see that both teams needed to win,” Revolution coach Jay Heaps said. “Both teams risked a lot for the win, so that’s why the game was wide open.”
It didn’t take long to figure out that a scoreless draw wasn’t in the cards on Saturday. With the eighth-place Crew and seventh-place Revolution both desperate for points, the mindset for both clubs was clear: shoot first and ask questions later.
The Revolution seized the better of the play in the first half by firing eight shots on goal, one of which fell through in the 32nd minute. A.J. Soares nodded a Kelyn Rowe free kick out of the reach of Matt Lampson to give the Revolution a lead they’d carry with them into the locker room at halftime.
But once the second half arrived, it was clear that Soares’ goal wouldn’t stand for long. The Crew dug in and advanced into the Revolution end searching for the equalizer, and found it in the 59th minute when Dominic Oduro slipped past the backline, grabbed a pass from Aaron Schoenfeld, and coolly sent it past Matt Reis to put the sides on even terms.
“In the second half, we felt like we were going to come out and play a little bit better, and we didn’t,” Heaps said. “I credit (Columbus) for that, but there’s also areas in which we have to be a little bit better.”
Despite the defensive lapses, the Revolution reclaimed the lead 10 minutes later due in part to the hard work of Andy Dorman, who earned his first start since April. After Rowe saw a close-range shot denied by Lampson, the rebound fell to Dorman, who tried to create an opportunity before he was fouled by Tony Tchani inside the box. Seconds later, Chris Tierney slotted the penalty to give the Revolution their second lead -- but one that wouldn’t last for long.
Three minutes after Tierney’s strike, Schoenfeld collected a pass from Oduro and ripped a shot from the edge of the box that fell into the net to make it a 2-2 game with nearly 20 minutes left.
“It was a see-saw game,” Crew interim coach Brian Bliss. “It’s just tough. You’re pushing the game and you get the game tied up. You give one up right away, then you come back again and get one, and right away we gave one back again.”
The Crew gave one right back in the 76th minute when Diego Fagundez drifted to the far post as Dorman dribbled down the left flank. And it didn’t take long for the veteran midfielder to recognize that the Crew were exposed when he sent it toward an unmarked Fagundez, who casually tapped it through to give to cap the scoring.
“It felt amazing,” Fagundez said of his fifth game-winning goal of the season. “Especially because we were up, then we were tied, then we were up again, then we were tied (again) -- it was perfect timing.”
Even though Fagundez gave his club the lead, the win was anything but assured in the waning moments. Heaps sent in defensive reinforcements Kevin Alston and Stephen McCarthy late, which served the Revolution well as they held on to keep their postseason hopes alive going into next week’s season finale at Columbus.