Revolution left scuffling
Late lead squandered; Reis gets red-carded
FOXBOROUGH - The Revolution lost their lead over the Houston Dynamo in the final minute of play. And they lost their goalkeeper, Matt Reis, to a red-card suspension after the final whistle of a 1-1 game last night at Gillette Stadium.
Unexpected things started happening soon after referee Michael Kennedy designated four minutes of added time. First, Bobby Boswell scored the tying goal off a corner kick that Reis lost control of. That play spoiled a resilient defensive performance led by Reis that nearly led to the Revolution (4-11-10, 22 points) snapping a home winless streak dating to May 14.
Then, seconds before Kennedy’s final whistle, a clash involving Houston’s Adam Moffat and the Revolution’s Pat Phelan led to post-match red cards for Moffat (second caution) and Reis (abusive language), who will be suspended for Saturday’s game against New York.
The Revolution started the game aggressively and the tactic paid off as Chris Tierney’s free kick hit the right post and was cleared for a corner kick. Former Houston defender Ryan Cochrane then scored off the corner after Milton Caraglio’s point-blank shot was blocked by goalkeeper Tally Hall in the fourth minute.
But the Revolution soon faded. Two Houston shots were cleared off the goal line, then Reis made several impressive saves.
And the Dynamo controlled possession and increased the pressure on the Revolution defense. The Revolution replaced Cochrane (concussion symptoms) with Phelan in the 76th minute, but seemed capable of preserving the advantage. Reis knocked away one of Houston’s best chances, a Geoff Cameron volley off a corner kick in the 56th minute. But on the Dynamo’s 12th corner of the match, substitute Carlo Costly headed Brad Davis’s kick to the left of Reis, who stopped the shot just in front of the line, but could not prevent Boswell from finishing.
“The way they got that corner, as well, kind of sticks in your throat,’’ Revolution coach Steve Nicol said. “Just kind of sums it up. Just a big punt up the field and we don’t deal with it properly. It hits the back of Pat’s head and goes for a corner. Set pieces-wise, they’re a handful. They’ve got six, seven guys 6-3, 6-4. So it’s difficult set piece-wise against them.
“But to lose the 2 points in the 90th minute obviously sticks in the throat. But if we’re honest we were under a lot of pressure tonight and we stood up well, but we just couldn’t hang on at the end.’’
The Houston roster lists 11 field players 6 feet 1 inch or taller, two 6-3 or taller.
The loss of Cochrane noticeably weakened the Revolution’s set-piece defending.
The Dynamo (7-7-11, 32 points) added Costly in the 71st minute, replacing Brian Ching, but Costly struggled to make an impact until the end.
“It definitely felt great scoring so early, it allows us to relax a little bit,’’ Revolution captain Shalrie Joseph said. “But for some reason we didn’t relax, especially in the first half. We were just working really hard defensively trying to keep our shape and trying to close down the ball. Credit to them, they whipped in some great crosses.
“Matt was huge for the whole 90 minutes. Even on the goal, he made a great save on the first one. We couldn’t ask for more from him. We kept possession, we worked hard defensively, but at the end of the night we weren’t good enough. For 89 minutes we were good and then we gave up that kind of goal. It comes back to hurt us and it’s frustrating to lose like that.’’
Frank Dell’Apa can be reached at email@example.com.