For most of 2014, the New England Revolution have been a team that struggled to overcome a deficit, losing 11 matches and drawing once when conceding the first goal. Now they've earned two comeback victories in three matches, improving that record to 3-11-1. The latest victim was the Chicago Fire, who fell 2-1 at Gillette Stadium despite taking the first lead.
Sanna Nyassi scored for the Fire around the middle of the first half, but the Revs answered before the break through Diego Fagundez. Charlie Davies capped off a fantastic move in the second half with the game-winner, pushing the Revs to 39 points and sole possession of third place in the Eastern Conference.
New England started the match strong, earning the first two dangerous chances of the night. Jermaine Jones snapped off a shot from distance that was saved fairly easily by Sean Johnson in the 2nd minute. Then, in the 8th minute, Patrick Mullins fought for possession at the top of the box before turning and firing with his left just wide.
As Chicago grew into the game, Nyassi became a terrifying presence on the pitch. In the 14th minute, he sent a free header wide of the far post when he really should have scored. However, he would make up for it soon after.
In the 28th minute, Quincy Amarikwa fought through A.J. Soares and put in a cross from the left side. The looping ball found Nyassi near the penalty spot, inadequately marked, and the Gambian forward snapped a header low and to the far post beyond Bobby Shuttleworth to give the Fire the lead.
Nyassi nearly doubled the lead just two minutes later, and probably should have. A rare mistake from Jermaine Jones saw Nyassi strip the ball from the USA midfielder and streak in on goal unchallenged. One-on-one with Shuttleworth, Nyassi fired near post and beat him, but was denied by the post.
Armed with a new lease on life, the Revs responded. Jermaine Jones missed a golden opportunity in the 37th minute when a Lee Nguyen free kick found him goal-side of his marker and just yards from goal, but he touched the ball over the bar. Then they had the breakthrough, and it was all hustle and grit.
A corner in the 41st minute sailed over everybody and looked destined for touch, but Jose Goncalves sprinted after it and kept it in just before it rolled out. He clipped a little pass into the box for Nguyen, who took it toward the byline before chipping a cross to the far post, where Diego Fagundez was lurking, totally unmarked. From there, it was a simple point-blank header for the winger, who celebrated with the minutemen in hilarious fashion.
The early going of the second half was all New England, as they forced two good saves out of Sean Johnson. Some excellent interplay between several Revs players put Kelyn Rowe in the box with space, and Johnson did very well to get down to his left and save the midfielder's low effort. Then, from the ensuing corner, Darrius Barnes thumped a diving header from the top of the six that, unfortunately, was right at Johnson, who nevertheless made an excellent save to keep the scores level.
It wouldn't hold, though. In the 60th minute, a tired-looking Jermaine Jones picked up the ball near the center of the park. He then proceeded to rip through the entire Chicago midfield before touching an inch-perfect pass ahead to substitute Charlie Davies, who beat a sloppy offside trap from the Chicago back line. Davies touched into the box and didn't hesitate, firing low to the far post and underneath Johnson for the lead.
Chicago poured on the pressure late and produced some scary moments for the Revolution, but were unable to make the breakthrough and get the draw. Jermaine Jones went 90 minutes before making way for Daigo Kobayashi in stoppage time, marking his second straight start with his second MLS assist.
New England will be back in action Saturday against Montreal in Foxboro.