After a long midsummer slog of poor play and a lot of losses, the New England Revolution have willed themselves to a three-match winning streak after knocking off Sporting Kansas City 3-1 at Gillette Stadium on Wednesday night. Sporting KC opened the scoring early, but three unanswered goals sprung the Revs to a rare comeback victory.
The match marked Jermaine Jones' first MLS start and his first appearance in Foxboro, and he brought his trademark skill and intensity to the pitch. Unfortunately, his botched clearance was essentially the assist on Kansas City's goal, but he more than made up for it with an all-action 45 minutes and an assist on Teal Bunbury's equalizer.
Sporting jumped out to a lead in the 9th minute off a set-piece. Matt Besler hocked in one of his trademark long throws, and Jones rose high at the near post to try and clear it. However, he instead flicked it into a perfect spot at the far post, where Soony Saad simply nodded home from point-blank range.
Revs fans could have been forgiven for feeling gloomy at that juncture, given that the Revs had come from behind and won in only one match this season. However, the Revs came straight at SKC instead, and in the 45th minute they were rewarded. Jones sent a brilliant cross-field switch on the dime to Bunbury, who knocked it past Seth Sinovic and moved in on goal. His ripped shot hit Besler right in the chest and deflected into the bottom corner past a wrong-footed Andy Gruenebaum.
Jones was replaced at the half by Steve Neumann, but the Revs did not let up. Lee Nguyen continued his red-hot streak of form in the 48th minute. Daigo Kobayashi picked up a midfield giveaway and delivered wide to Kelyn Rowe. Rowe slotted it laterally to Nguyen at the D, and Nguyen smacked a curler into the top corner to give the Revs the lead.
Kansas City tried to mount a comeback but New England did a fair job of keeping them at bay. There were some nervy moments, but for the most part Bobby Shuttleworth wasn't called into action. The defense did its job.
As the match wound to a close, Sporting committed more and more numbers forward in their search for an equalizer. This allowed substitute Patrick Mullins to snag a mistake from the Kansas City defense before slipping a ball to Nguyen on the right. With all the space and time in the world, Nguyen lashed a shot low to the far post and sealed the victory.
The Revolution are back in action on Sunday against Chicago at home.