Late Free Kick Seals Revolution Victory in Home Opener

Photo Credit: David Silverman/@NERevolution

The New England Revolution left it late in their home opener against the Colorado Rapids as left back Chris Tierney won the game off a free kick in dying moments of the game.

Colorado’s Niki Jackson committed a foul in the 92nd minute of the game right outside of the Rapid’s box to set up the free kick opportunity for the Revolution. Tierney hit the shot straight into the wall, but a fortunate bounce off of a Rapid’s defender sent the ball over Tim Howard’s head and into the goal, sending Brad Friedel and Gillette Stadium into euphoria.

Tierney did not start the game for the Revolution and joined the game in the 17th minute after starting left back Gabriel Somi was forced to leave the game with an injury. Somi and Rapid’s forward Jack McBean collided heads in the 14th minute, which lead to Somi’s departure. The team is yet to provide an update on Somi’s injury.

The Revolution opened the scoring in the 48th minute after a dull first half from both sides with a goal from Diego Fagundez. Winger Cristian Penilla made a tremendous solo run down the left side of the field before placing a pinpoint pass into the box for Fagundez who gave the Revolution the lead.

The Rapids did equalize in the 66th minute after Jackson scored his first MLS goal shortly after being subbed on for McBean. Johan Blomberg played a great ball over the top of the Revolution backline and Jackson beat his man to head the ball past Matt Turner, who came off his line.

Turner did have a solid game in goal for the Revolution despite conceding once, as he made a miraculous save on Jack Price penalty in the 54th minute after Jalil Anibaba brought down McBean in the box. He also made a great diving grab off of a corner to deny Tommy Smith in the first half.

3 Takeaways

Tierney proving his worth- When Somi arrived in the summer, many assumed that Tierney’s time in New England was coming to a close. While he is the longest-tenured player on the roster, his age and lack of speed lead many to write him off in favor of Somi. Although he was exposed by Jackson on the Rapid’s goal, he showed promise in the game, defending well and obviously nabbing the winning goal. With no timetable on Somi’s injury, Revolution fans should rest easy knowing Tierney is still performing well.

Penilla shows promise- Aside from the fact the Revolution were down a man, Antonio Delamea’s red card also dealt a blow to the team because Penilla was taken off early into the game against the Union. In the home opener, Penilla showed fans exactly what they missed without him in the game last weekend. While it took him a bit to get going, Penilla did a great job of creating chances for the Revolution attack and made a great solo run to assist the opening goal. Penilla departed in the 84th minute of the game for Juan Agudelo but had long since proved that he is a valuable piece to the Revolution attack.

Turner justifies selection- Many were shocked to find Turner’s name in the starting lineup in the season opener, but he played well in his MLS debut despite the 2-0 loss. This game was no different for Turner, as he impressed the Revolution faithful with a big penalty save that kept the momentum in the Revolution’s favor. Turner has done a great job of silencing the early doubters and will surely be the No.1 man going forward between the sticks.

Looking Ahead

The Revolution next face off against NYCFC at home on Saturday, March 24. Kick off is at 1:30 p.m.

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Kyle Bray is the Editor in Chief at Prime Time Sports Talk and a freshman journalism major at Emerson College. He also serves as the sports editor for the Bay State Herald and the deputy sports editor for The Berkeley Beacon. Aside from his editing duties at Prime Time Sports Talk, he is the lead New England Revolution writer, the Holy Cross Men's Basketball reporter, and is a member of the Prime Time Sports Talk radio team. He grew up just outside of Boston and has been a Boston sports fan all his life.

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