Print and Go Back ESPN.com: New England Revolution [Print without images]

Saturday, May 11, 2013
Revs fail to protect short-lived lead

By Brian O'Connell

Diego Fagundez
Diego Fagundez netted the game's first goal, the capstone of a phenomenal individual effort.
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- One way in which Revolution head coach Jay Heaps measures his club's game-day focus is how well they acquit themselves in the so-called "fives" -- that is, the first and last five minutes of each half, and the first five minutes after they score.

On Saturday, the Revolution were up to the challenge in the opening and closing moments of each frame, but surrendered a Lloyd Sam goal a minute after Diego Fagundez scored the opening strike in Saturday's 1-1 draw against the first-place New York Red Bulls.

"I don't think it's (our) mentality," Heaps said. "I think it's concentration. Those situations where you score goals, you are elated and tired. I hate celebrations; I like one or two guys to celebrate. If you ever go back and watch my film, I didn't run past half-field; we tried to get back and defend. That's a defender's time to gather his breath. After you score goals, you have to turn on. It was poor."

Although the Revolution continued their run of success against the Red Bulls at home, it was clear that everyone in the home locker room -- especially Heaps -- was none too pleased to walk away from Saturday's game with only one point.

Jose Goncalves
Revs defender Jose Goncalves kicks the ball in the second half.
Sam's sudden equalizer spoiled a night in which Fagundez played one of the best games of his three-year career. He registered a game-high six shots, the most important coming in the 54th minute when he poked through a Chris Tierney corner to give the Revolution their all-too-brief lead.

The 18-year-old noticed that the Red Bulls weren't defending the near post on the previous two Revolution corner kicks, so he figured that he'd take advantage of the invitation less than 10 minutes into the second stanza.

"They didn't have anyone marked on me and Chris played a good ball right to me and I kind of had to do a side volley," Fagundez said. "When they stopped it right on the line, I was just going to blast it but then I saw an open spot that I could just place it in."

The goal sent the Foxborough faithful into a frenzy, but Sam put a hasty end to the celebrations when he grabbed a through ball from Andre Akpan and pushed it past Bobby Shuttleworth for the quick equalizer in the 55th minute.

"Me and Kosuke (Kimura) did a little one-two," Akpan said. "I don't know if they fell asleep for a little bit, but I just found Lloyd and made a good little run in the box and he finished low and well to the far post."

Yes, the goal from Sam certainly pulled the rug from under the Revolution, but the game was far from decided with more than half an hour left for both teams to work with.

Fagundez found two more open invitations to put the ball in the back of the net in the waning moments. In the 80th minute, he redirected a Tierney feed on frame that Luis Robles denied at the last moment. Another chance unfolded in stoppage time, when Fagundez ripped a shot that flew over the bar.

"His positioning was great," Tierney said. "When Diego's on and gets running at people, he's tough to defend. When he's playing like he did tonight, we have to keep getting him the ball in good spots."

Despite the host of chances they gathered late to stake a win, Tierney could only lament the missed opportunity to collect four points from the two-game home set.

"It seemed (like) a little breakdown, a few little short one-twos," Tierney said of Sam's 55th minute goal. "We always stress the first five (minutes) after either the half, the start of the game, or scoring a goal and obviously we didn't do a good enough of a job of taking care of those five minutes."