August 9, 2016
by Adam Burrows
PLAYING FOR HARDWARE
Revs win Open Cup semi 3-1 over Chicago
New England Soccer News Contributor
FOXBOROUGH, Mass.--The New England Revolution may be struggling in league play but they’ll have a chance to play for hardware and a CONCACAF Champions League spot after a 3-1 U.S. Open Cup Semifinal win over the Chicago Fire before 9,801 loyal fans Tuesday night.
|Je-Vaughn Watson had the game-winner for the Revs against Chicago in Tuesday's US Open Cup semifinal at Gillette Stadium.
Linda Cutttone/Sports Vue Images
Man-of-the-Match Kei Kamara got the scoring started in the 16th minute from the penalty spot and Je-Vaughn Watson put the Revs ahead in the 42nd, just moments after a dazzling piece of work from Chicago’s David Accam, who was ejected after an altercation with Kelyn Rowe in the game's closing minutes.
Kamara contributed to Watson’s goal and created problems for the Fire all night as both Kamara and Watson notched their second goals of the competition, while Teal Bunbury added a late clincher for New England with Kamara assisting.
The Revs advance to their first U.S. Open Cup Final since they claimed the title in 2007, traveling to face the winner of Wednesday night’s semifinal matchup between LA Galaxy and FC Dallas at the StubHub Center.
It was also the third triumph this year for the Revs over the woeful Fire, who won the last of their four U.S. Open titles in 2006, haven’t won on the road in any competition in over two years, and are mired in last place in league play.
Apart from bringing Lee Nguyen off the bench and starting number two ‘keeper Brad Knighton, who was between the pipes for the fourth round and quarterfinal matches, New England coach Jay Heaps sent out a first-team lineup in the second U.S. Open Cup match ever played at Gillette Stadium.
After a desultory opening quarter-hour, the Revs drew first blood. Diego Fagundez ran onto a curling long ball over the top from Chris Tierney and dropped off for Rowe in the box. As Rowe’s first touch took him toward the corner of the penalty area Rodrigo Ramos tripped him and referee Edvin Jurisevic pointed immediately to the spot. Kamara stepped up and buried the penalty into the left corner of the net.
Knighton was called into action in the 24th minute when Dutchman John Goossens eluded Watson and fired low on goal, but the Rev ‘keeper was quick to his right to gather it up.
Kamara put a scare into Matt Lampson four minutes later when he charged the dawdling Fire netminder and nearly blocked his clearance into the net. The Revs DP was a factor again when he played hold-up and sprung Bunbury clear on the right but the New England winger dragged his first-timer wide left.
It was Kamara again in the 39th minute having a go from distance before the visitors drew level momentarily. Hard digging by Michael de Leeuw at the top of the eighteen won the ball for Accam, who juked Watson into the turf before slotting into the right corner from short range.
The Revs responded immediately. Bunbury forced a save from Lampson, earning a corner kick that Tierney delivered to the top of the six-yard box. Kamara flicked his header toward the goal mouth where the Fire failed to clear, leaving Watson free to lower his head and tuck in past Lampson.
The Fire came close in the 55th minute when Arturo Alvarez delivered into the six-yard box and a sliding de Leeuw got his toe on cross as Knighton was slow to react, but the ball popped over the crossbar.
Rowe had a chance to put some distance between the hosts and their visitors in the 62nd minute when a hard run put him one-on-one with Lampson courtesy of a Watson pass down the middle, but Rowe’s effort was just high as a retreating Jonathan Campbell did just enough.
After several near-misses Bunbury finally got his goal in the 85th minute, skillfully directing a left-footed shot inside the left post from near the center of box off an assist from Kamara.
In the closing minutes, the frustration boiled over for Chicago and Accam, who delivered a blind late shoulder charge on Rowe, initiating a brief brawl and drawing a straight red card from Jurisevic.