October 16, 2016
ALL BUT OVER
Loss to Fire effectively ends Revolution's playoff hunt
BRIDGEVIEW, Ill.--The New England Revolution's playoff hopes were all but extinguished with Sunday's 2-1 loss to the last-place Chicago Fire at Toyota Park.
|Diego Fagundez scored to lift the Revolution into a 1-1 tie with the Chicago Fire Sunday at Toyota Park, but Chicago came up with a late game-winner.
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
The Revs (10-14-9, 39 pts) remain three points behind sixth-place Philadelphia, meaning they can do no better than tie for the final playoff spot by season's end, and the Union have a whopping +12 advantage in goal differential. Chicago remain on the way to their worst finish ever at 7-16-10 (31).
Michael de Leeuw gave Chicago a 1-0 advantage in the ninth minute. Diego Fagundez leveled the score in the 43rd, and New England had a man advantage for 19 minutes of the second half after Luis Solignac was sent off for kicking defender London Woodberry in the 54th minute. But they could not capitalize, and were left with ten men themselves when goalkeeper Brad Knighton drew a red card for tripping up David Accam in the 73rd.
Accam delivered the game-winner for the Fire in the 80th minute, after Jonathan Campbell found him with a perfect ball over the top. Accam settled the ball before blasting it to the near post past substitute 'keeper Bobby Shuttleworth, putting the home side up 2-1.
The Fire got a chance early, when Accam took the ball up the left side against several Revolution defenders. He continued his run to the endline before crossing it into the six yard box and an onrushing Arturo Alvarez, but Knighton smothered the chance before Alvarez could reach it.
Chicago continued to press in the early going, and it paid off for them in the ninth minute. De Leeuw, living up to his reputation as a poacher, got on the end of a Brandon Vincent cross unmarked, easily slotting it past Knighton for a 1-0 advantage.
The Fire nearly doubled their lead in the 19th minute when Alvarez sent an early cross over the top of the Revolution backline. De Leeuw received the ball with a good first touch, but was at a tough angle, causing him to send the ball back to the onrushing Accam for a shot that deflected off a New England defender and teammate Khaly Thiam before sailing off the mark.
De Leeuw kept pressuring Knighton's goal, narrowly missing again with a 22nd minute header off Johan Kappelhof's cross, but missed just high.
New England got their best chance of the half in the 35th minute when Lee Nguyen chipped a ball over the Chicago backline to Juan Agudelo, who shot high of goal. New England was back in the Fire's end a minute later and got another chance from Kei Kamara, however his shot was deflected out.
The Fire got another solid chance before the half when a quick throw in to Accam resulted in the Ghanian streaking into the box before the ball fell to Alvarez, who struck the ball well only to be stoned by Knighton.
The Revolution continued to press for the equalizer as the half wound down, And their work was rewarded in the 43rd minute. After a Fire turnover in their defensive half, New England rushed forward towards Sean Johnson's goal. After a bit of pinball at the top of the box, Fagundez rushed toward the top of the circle to pick up the loose ball, striking a one-time shot to the corner to draw the teams level before the half.