sports 4 days ago

Chicago Fire end Revolution's unbeaten home streak with 2-1 win

Boston Herald — John Connolly Boston Herald

June 18--FOXBORO -- Home cooking wasn't enough for the Revolution last night, who saw their unbeaten run at Gillette Stadium this season come to an end with a 2-1 loss to the Chicago Fire in front of 21,548 fans.

The Revs (5-6-5) fell behind after 18 minutes and were down two with 29 minutes to go. They managed to score in the 70th minute, but despite a whopping 24 shots taken, 16 from inside the box, they couldn't grab the equalizer.

"The effort and energy were all there until the final whistle, but I think the sharpness wasn't there to break a team like Chicago down the way that they are set up," said Revs coach Jay Heaps. "It's disappointing that we didn't get a point in the game. It was an exciting last 20 minutes. We really went after it."

Chicago (9-3-4) showed in the 18th minute why they have the most wins in MLS on a brilliant run on the right by Serbian forward Nemanja Nikolic. The league's goal-scoring leader got in behind the Revs defense with a perfectly timed run, closed in and drilled a shot from 12 yards short-side that Revs keeper Cody Cropper blocked with his hand. But the rebound caromed right back to Nikolic, who easily punched home the rebound for his 13th goal of the season.

The Revs, who hadn't lost at home in 11 matches (9-0-2) dating to August of last season, came close in the 29th minute. Kei Kamara had the ball on the right and sent a pass across the front. Diego Fagundez made a valiant effort to steer the ball into the net but the ball tipped off the bottom of his left cleat and rolled outside of the left post.

Lots of the Fire's work went through former German international Bastian Schweinsteiger, as the veteran midfielder finished with a game-high 92 touches.

The Revs' comeback hopes took a hit in the 61st minute when Chicago scored to widen the gap. Nikolic chipped the ball ahead and Michael de Leeeuw poked his right leg out just enough to tip the ball into space. Argentinian forward Luis Solignac ran onto the flick in the box and rifled a low shot past Cropper for his fourth goal of the campaign.

The Revs got back in it in the 70th minute, when Lee Nguyen's left-wing cross was first headed by substitute Juan Agudelo over on-rushing Fire keeper Matt Lampson (four saves). Revs defender Antonio Delamea then outleaped two Fire defenders to head the ball into the unguarded net to make it a 2-1 game.

"I can't tell what happened in the first 70 minutes. We couldn't make simple passes. We couldn't do anything right. I don't know why. When it was 2-0 down we started to come back but we couldn't score at the end," said Delamea, who felt many of the players were tired due to recent international duty. "We just weren't us."

The Revs had several chances to tie it in the final minutes. Rowe fired wide of a diving Lampson, and then substitute Teal Bunbury bundled a good cross wide of goal when a goal looked certain. With four minutes left, Nguyen fired a shot from inside the area over the bar.

___

(c)2017 the Boston Herald

Visit the Boston Herald at www.bostonherald.com

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

AdChoices