The New England Revolution went to Sporting Park in Kansas City with a one-goal advantage and a chance to shock everyone with a berth in the Eastern Conference Finals. Instead, they went 120 minutes and lost 4-3 on aggregate in an ugly game that they never deserved to win.
Aurelien Collin evened the aggregate score in the 41st minute when the Revs' defense failed to clear a Sporting Kansas City ball into the area. His close-range finish was no less than KC deserved after completely dominating the first half.
The rest of the goals were in the second half or extra time. Dimitry Imbongo put away an awkward finish from a set piece in the 70th minute to give the Revs hope. Seth Sinovic dashed that hope with an excellent finish from some poor defending in the 79th. Then, in the second half of extra time, Claudio Bieler finished a delivery from Benny Feilhaber to knock the Revs out of the playoffs and end New England dreams of another MLS Cup Finals appearance.
I don't feel like doing a recap. I'll sum it up for you like this: Matt Reis was a wall, the rest of the team played terribly, the game plan was fundamentally flawed, and to top it all off, Reis appeared to blow his knee out at the end of extra time. It was tense and heart-pounding like playoff soccer should be, but the Revs never, ever looked like winners in this one.
Tonight I will mourn the loss of a dream, but let's take a moment to remember what getting this far really means. Most of us at TBM expected a 5th-place finish at best; the Revs captured the third seed. They beat KC in the first leg, and despite how ugly they were in the second leg, it was still a game till the very end. This roster, from top to bottom, was not a conference championship team, but for a while at least, they played better than the sum of their parts. We can be proud of that.
For now, though, let's all try to get some sleep.
More from The Bent Musket:
- Revolution vs. Sporting KC - 2013 MLS Playoffs, Second Leg - Lineups and Live Thread
- Revolution Fans Defeat Sporting KC Coach Peter Vermes on Twitter
- Naeher, O'Reilly Leroux to Represent Breakers During USWNT Friendly
- MLS Playoffs: New England vs. Sporting Kansas City - 2nd Leg Televison Schedule
- Revolution vs. Sporting 2013: EC Semi-Finals Leg Two Preview