By TATE STEINLAGE
KANSAS CITY, Kan. — The New England Revolution continue to find ways to beat Sporting Kansas City this season.
A frantic, unpredictable match Friday that saw New England surge early and relinquish a 2-0 lead was capped off by a Jermaine Jones game-winner in the dying minutes of the match, as the Revolution captured a critical 3-2 conference victory.
Jones’ 85th-minute strike silenced a massive two-goal comeback in the second half led by Sporting KC’s Paulo Nagamura, who tallied a goal and an assist in a two-minute span.
Kelyn Rowe and Jose Goncalves added goals in the first half to round out what was a terrific night for manager Jay Heaps’ squad, which previously hadn’t won in Kansas City since 2008.
“We were just looking at this as a regular season game,” Heaps said after the match. “We have nothing but respect for Kansas City and this organization because to me they’re the premier club right now, coming off being champs and having this stadium and the way they play here.
“I think it was good for us to get some confidence coming here, because our season ended here last year, so getting some confidence here is good. But at the same time there’s a lot of football to be played and the Eastern Conference is really tight so every game is just us focusing on getting up the table.”
With the result, the Revs (14-13-3, 45 points) move up to a tie in points with Sporting KC (13-11-6, 45 points) in the Eastern Conference. On a goal differential tie-breaker, Sporting KC currently has the edge.
The Revolution took the early lead 22 minutes in after Sporting KC missed on three scoring chances early. Defender Kevin Alston found Kelyn Rowe on excellent cross aimed at the back post and the midfielder was able to volley an attempt across the face of goalkeeper Eric Kronberg into the side netting.
Twelve minutes later, Sporting KC all but gift-wrapped New England its second goal. Midfielder Paulo Nagamura lost possession near the Revolution penalty area and centerback Jose Goncalves took it upon himself to run 80 yards and put away a well-taken effort.
New England carried the 2-0 lead into the halftime break, as well as a 7-1 goalscoring advantage through five halves versus the reigning MLS Cup champions in 2014.
But that lead would dwindle quickly after the break thanks in part to the play of Nagamura. The Brazilian pulled the home team within one goal in the 55th minute and then assisted forward Dom Dwyer moments later to even the match at 2-2.
“He is a winner,” Sporting KC manager Peter Vermes said of Nagamura. “When you got winners on the field, they don’t give up. He is just a winner. A couple years ago, he scored the game-winner for us in the Open Cup on his penalty kick. He takes two of them and sticks it in. He is a winner. That’s why those guys are valuable for teams.”
Sporting KC looked poised to steal three points late with the momentum on their side but Jones’ heroics — a 25-yard blast in the 85th minute — ended what was a disappointing night for the sold-out Sporting Park crowd.
“Both Kansas City games (that I played in), the two teams were fighting each other for 90 minutes,” Jones said. “That is how we won this game. Kansas City is a good team and we have a lot of respect for them, but we have to trust in ourselves that we have a good team too.”
The 3-2 result is New England’s sixth win in seven games. The Revolution will look to continue their winning ways next Saturday at home against Columbus. Sporting KC will look to bounce back in seven days on the road against D.C. United.
Here are the match highlights:
“On a goal differential tie-breaker, Sporting KC currently has the edge.”
IIRC the tie breaking rules for MLS place games won above goal differential. Which puts the Revs above SKC in the standings. Not a fan of this rule but it is what it is.
Lee Nguyen and Charle Davis were the two American talents detoured in the last decade. Glad that MLS provides rehabilitation for both. Also, I wonder that both of them and Rossi might contribtue to US team more if we had a coach that was able to recruit, motivate and manage like Klinsmann.
Jones continues to dominate US soccer in the hair category.
Very aggravating that MLS continues to not include controversial plays in their replays. I really wanted to see the disallowed Revs goal that was pulled back for offsides. At the time, it looked like they got that call completely wrong, but it wasn’t included in the replays. Rather than an offsides call, it should have been a Revs goal and a straight red to KC’s keeper.
Wild game. I’m happy about the result, though.
The Revs are looking shockingly impressive. Hard to not notice both Farrell and Nguyen look very much like National Team quality. Farrell is by a bunch the most athletic defender I’ve seen in MLS…and Nguyen…wow. Definitely see what all the fuss has been about. His first touch is so incredibly positive, especially with a guy like Jermaine Jones playing behind him, and then he accelerates 0-60 in about two steps and is past his man and on into space, and he’s a slick passer and string-puller with a nice-looking shot from distance.
Also was intriguing to see Charlie Davies looks like he’s getting his speed back…dunno if he’s made it all the way back yet, but he’s getting closer…be a great thing if he does break back in.
If the Revs can keep that group together for another couple years, and maybe add to it this offseason, they’re going to be a handful. They were notably faster and more athletic than SKC.
I’ve been saying it a long time, Nguyen should be on the national team. Even if he didn’t have the best game due to SKC locking down on him, when he had his chance, his brilliance and skill shines through. Farrell is a beast as well but his passing out of the back needs some serious work.
I watch Lee every week and totally agree with quozzel. Teams are starting to double on him or at least quickly get on Lee as soon as he gets the ball. That is making it hard for him to do too much other than dump off. Last night, he only showed a few flashes of what he can do when he gets some space or can break free from defenders. He did have a few moments though and did manage to get an assist anyway
At the moment the old man (JJ) looks way better than MB.
At the moment, almost everybody looks better than MB
that! was below the belt 🙂