After enduring a 4-2 drubbing at the hands of Sporting Kansas City on Wednesday night, the New England Revolution managed to secure a 1-1 draw with D.C. United on Saturday evening in what was a highly emotional contest.
In the match’s early-goings both teams struggled to assert themselves and take a hold on the proceedings, as the Revs were forced to patiently probe around DC’s narrow and disciplined defense.
Despite that, numerous half-chances fell the Revs way, as Lee Nguyen showed glimpses of his phenomenal vision that defined his 2014 campaign. On two different occasions, Nguyen darted centrally and feigned, only to then slip Juan Agudelo through DC’s tight lines. However, a combination of goalkeeper Bill Hamid and center-back Kofi Opare quelled any danger and kept the Revs frustrated in front of goal.
As the match wore on, Scott Caldwell found great success down the left flank with several picture perfect through balls, but nothing too considerable came of them. At the same time, DC rarely threatened Bobby Shuttleworth’s goal, which allowed the Revs to maintain possession and try to shift around DC’s defense.
Their persistence finally paid off in the first minute of stoppage time when Chris Tierney served in a patented in-swinging service from the right corner flag. Agudelo rose highest and directed a powerful header towards goal, but Hamid’s save fell right to the feet of a waiting Charlie Davies. The striker made no mistake and slammed home his fifth goal of the year to propel the home side into a 1-0 halftime lead.
In the initial stages of the second half, the narrative of the first half was playing out in nearly identical fashion. DC and New England both had their share of the ball, but neither could find any openings between the lines or over the top. And then the 52nd minute rolled around and the tides turned greatly.
Chris Tierney challenged Chris Pontius along the right side of his defensive box and came in with his studs high along the DC midfielder’s knee. Justifiably so, Mark Geiger issued a straight red card and the Revs were down to 10 men.
No more then ten minutes later, Geiger went to the back pocket for a second time. Nguyen, who earned a yellow card late in the first half, tussled with Davy Arnaud near midfield and threw an elbow, drawing his second yellow of the game. Just like that the Revs were down to nine men with slightly more than 30 minutes remaining on the clock.
With a two-man advantage in hand, possession heavily shifted in DC’s favor, but chances were hard to come by for the black and red. Nonetheless, their control of the game paid major dividends in the 80th minute when Taylor Kemp found acres of space along the left hand side.
The left-back zipped in a grass-cutting cross that Jairo Arrieta met at the near post. The Costa Rican made no mistake and slid the ball inside the post to tie the game up at one.
DC became energized by the equalizer and the Revs were undoubtedly frustrated, but both combined for a highly combustable end to the match. Yellow cards and fouls started occurring at will as the Revs ardently tried to secure the point and DC sought to escape Gillette with a crucial Eastern Conference win.
Despite all of that, DC and the Revs could not eke out three points and both were left to settle with a solitary point. New England's next game occurs on Sunday May 31 at home against the Los Angeles Galaxy.