The New England Revolution were unable to find a breakthrough against Atlanta United Saturday night despite their late offensive onslaught. The two played to a 0-0 draw.
While the Revolution will be frustrated that they only got one point from the game, they are still mathematically in the playoff race. Toronto FC’s late Supporter’s Shield clinching comeback against the New York Red Bulls meant that regardless of Saturday’s result, the Revolution could not be eliminated from the Playoffs. However, tonight was more two points lost than it was one point gained for the Revolution in their somewhat pointless last quest for the final playoff spot.
Two way first half
The first half of this meeting between Atlanta and New England was much more favorable for the Revolution than the last time they met. They managed to get through the half without conceding any goals and with a full squad of 11 players on the field, something they failed miserably to do in their last game versus Atlanta.
The game started off chippy, with many questionable challenges leading to no foul calls, to the great annoyance of the Revolution, who found themselves on the receiving end of many of these challenges. In the 14th minute, the referee failed to call a foul on a challenge on Diego Fagundez, which lead to a cross being whipped into the Revolution penalty area, but luckily for them, Héctor Villalba’s free header was sent wide.
The next chance came for the Revolution, after Andrew Farrell played a great cross into the box that was picked up by Fagundez. After beating one defender, he only had the keeper Brad Guzan to beat, but Guzan swatted away Fagundez’s chip shot attempt.
Revolution pile on the pressure
While the first half was split between both teams in terms of domination, the Revolution controlled the entire second half and had almost all the chances in the half.
Their best chance of the game came when Fagundez, Lee Nguyen, and Scott Caldwell went on three on one breakaway into the Atlanta end. With plenty of options, Fagundez misplaced a pass that was just behind Nguyen which lead to the play breaking down.
Late in the game, the Revolution looked as if they were surely going to score. In the 86th minute, Juan Agudelo won a free kick from a dangerous position in the Atlanta half. Nguyen stepped up to take it, and floated in a perfect delivery that was just barely punched onto the crossbar by Guzan. If Guzan had not got a touch to the ball, that would have been the opening goal.
After this chance, the Revolution had many failed chances from free kicks and corners, including one that came in dying seconds of the game. Nguyen delivered the ball into the box from a free kick but Agudelo’s header was saved on the line by Guzan. Shortly after, the final whistle blew.
With two games left to play, the Revolution are still in 8th place and are four points off the final playoff spot occupied by the Red Bulls, who have a game in hand on the Revolution.
The New York Red Bulls face off against the Vancouver Whitecaps on Oct. 7th, and if the Red Bulls win, the Revolution will be officially eliminated from the playoffs. If the Red Bulls draw, then the Revolution must win both of their remaining games and have Montreal and New York lose all of their remaining games if they want to make the playoffs. If the Red Bulls lose, a draw in their next game would keep the Revolution alive in the playoff race. If the Revolution lose their next game, they will be eliminated from playoff contention.
The Revolution’s next game is on Sunday, Oct. 15th against NYCFC at Gillette Stadium. Kick off for this must win-game is at 5 p.m.