The New England Revolution are drawn up tight with the Portland Timbers 0-0 at halftime on Thursday night at Jeld-Wen Field. Portland has had the better of play, but the Revs have fought hard to give as good as they've gotten, and it's resulted in attacking play at break-neck speed played at both ends.
Portland nearly had the first goal of the game with what would have been a goal of the season candidate. Diego Valeri received the ball a few yards from the edge of the box and played it in to Darlington Nagbe. Nagbe flicked it on to an onrushing Valeri, who fired off the volley but put it high.
Darlington Nagbe had two good chances after that. In the 12th minute, he found himself all alone from a tight angle and fired, which was saved by Bobby Shuttleworth. Three minutes later he had a one-on-one with Shuttleworth, but his shot was saved again.
New England also had several decent chances on the night. In the 30th, Diego Fagundez wrong-footed Jack Jewsbury and fired for the upper 90 at the near post, but it flew just over the crossbar. Jerry Bengtson took it upon himself to cut in from the left in the 33rd minute and put a shot on frame that was saved, and then Ryan Guy capitalized on some great buildup from Fagundez and Bengtson to put a hard shot on goal that was saved in the 42nd.
The rough stats bear out that the Revs were actually the more accurate passers, but lost the possession battle badly. Still, both teams ended up with two shots on goal (out of seven for the Revs and twelve for the Timbers), and since they're trying to escape Portland with a decent result despite a depleted defense, things don't look all that bad.