Revolution squander leads and tie Dynamo
FOXBOROUGH - Coughing up two leads after two goals by Saer Sene cost the Revolution 2 points.
The toughest blow was the second one, with Houston scoring in the 87th minute and earning a 2-2 tie Saturday night at Gillette Stadium. It took New England (4-6-1) 11 games to get its first tie, but kept the Revolution tied with the Dynamo (3-3-4) for fifth place in the Eastern Conference.
“I scored two goals, but I’m sad, I’m disappointed because we take only 1 point from this game, and we must take the 3,’’ said Sene, a first-year MLS player from France who had his first two-goal game, pushing his season total to a team-high six.
Sene gave the Revolution a pair of one-goal leads, the second an unassisted strike in the 57th minute when he stole the ball at midfield from Bobby Boswell, raced downfield, then drilled it past Dynamo goalkeeper Tally Hall at the last second.
But just like in the first half, New England couldn’t hold the lead. After a swarm of substitutions between the 70th and 80th minutes - Revolution coach Jay Heaps said he wanted fresh legs to help preserve the lead - Luiz Camargo worked a give-and-go with Brian Ching after a Revolution turnover. Camargo’s goal in the 87th minute proved to be the ultimate equalizer, with neither team getting a decent scoring chance in stoppage time.
“I don’t think we played our absolute best, but we still had a chance to win the game,’’ Heaps said. “I want to make this a tough place to play, and I think we did that tonight.’’
The Revolution pushed the tempo at the beginning, controlling the early pace and creating multiple scoring chances in the first 25 minutes. Lee Nguyen, the reigning MLS player of the week, sent a cross from the left side that Sene couldn’t connect with in the fourth minute, and a header by Shalrie Joseph - off a centering feed from Sene - bounced high and was grabbed by Hall.
Sene and the Revolution struck first, in the 26th minute. Chris Tierney sent in a pass from the left side that was blocked and bounced out toward Sene, who was alone near the top of the penalty box. Before Sene could get a shot off, he was hit from behind by Brad Davis, with referee Baldomero Toledo awarding the Revolution a penalty kick.
Sene took the initiative, lining up his first penalty kick in his brief New England career. Approaching the ball, he chose to go to his right. Hall went to his right, as well, leaving the half of the goal that Sene picked wide open. His fifth goal of the season put the Revolution ahead.
Joseph routinely takes penalty kicks for New England, but deferred to Sene this time.
“I’m a striker,’’ Sene said. “Today I got the foul, I’m a striker, I want to score.’’
The rest of the first half was dominated by Houston, which kept consistent possession, especially in the middle third of the pitch. The Dynamo needed just six minutes to tie it, coming after a Revolution foul.
Davis sent in a long pass off a free kick, which was headed by Will Bruin, just before Revolution keeper Matt Reis was able to punch it away. Bruin’s goal, his fifth of the season, came in the 32d minute.
It continued a disturbing pattern for the Revolution, who have given up a rash of set-piece goals on the season.
“It’s one of those things where you go over it and over it and over it and over it and over it and over it and over it, and it’s disappointing,’’ Heaps said (that was seven “over its,’’ if you’re counting). “I’m flipping mad, if you want to know the truth, flipping mad.’’
The best remaining scoring chance for the Revolution in the first half came on a centering pass by Kevin Alston to Blake Brettschneider, who headed it near the left post. But Hall was there, just getting a hand on it.
There were three yellow cards handed out, all from an altercation in the 64th minute, when the game was getting chippy. Earning yellows were Benny Feilhaber for the Revolution, and Houston’s Calen Carr and Boswell.