FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Down to nine men following a pair of second-half red cards, the New England Revolution dug in its heels and held on for a hard-fought 1-1 draw with visiting FC Dallas on Saturday night at Gillette Stadium.
The draw was the Revolution’s (2-3-1, 7 pts.) first of the season and snapped a brief two-game losing streak, while the result kept Dallas (0-1-4, 4 pts.) winless despite a 22-10 advantage in shots.
Rookie forward Zack Schilawski gave the Revs their first halftime lead of the season against the run of play with a 41st-minute strike, but Kheli Dube – whose hard work set up Schilawski’s goal – saw red in the 56th minute as the hosts were reduced to 10 men. Dallas midfielder Atiba Harris then leveled the score in the 67th minute before Joseph Niouky became the second Revolution player ejected in the 72nd minute. Despite playing the final 18 minutes – plus more than five minutes of stoppage time – with a two-man advantage, the Hoops were unable to find a game-winner.
In addition to the two red cards, each club was issued five cautions in what became an increasingly physical match throughout the second half.
The Revolution made no changes to the lineup which dropped a 2-1 decision to the Colorado Rapids last weekend, as head coach Steve Nicol elected to go with an identical starting 11 from top to bottom.
As expected, Dallas pushed forward from the opening whistle and came inches from taking an early lead in the fifth minute. Harris beat Revolution goalkeeper Preston Burpo with a driven shot from an acute angle, but the effort struck the right post. The rebound fell kindly to David Ferreira in the middle of the box, but the Colombian couldn’t connect on his attempted shot.
The visitors continued to press and only a series of near misses and critical clearances from Cory Gibbs and Darrius Barnes kept the Hoops off the board in the first 30 minutes. Former Revolution midfielder Daniel Hernandez also came close, but his 32nd-minute free kick was well-saved by Burpo.
New England slowly began to turn the tide after weathering the early storm, and the home side almost took the lead against the run of play in the 40th minute. Marko Perovic’s in-swinging service from the right corner cleared everyone in the box to find Schilawski at the back post, but his effort struck the woodwork.
Schilawski wouldn’t have to wait long to find the back of the net, however, as the rookie scored his fourth goal of the season just one minute later. Dallas goalkeeper Dario Sala attempted to guide a long pass over the end line, but Dube rounded Sala and narrowly kept the ball in play. With Sala chasing and the net vacant, Dube dribbled toward goal before slotting a pass into the center of the box for Schilawski, who slid ahead of his defender to tuck the ball into the empty net.
Dallas almost responded before the halftime whistle, but Barnes came to the Revolution’s rescue once again with a crucial clearance as Jeff Cunningham was ready to pounce after the ball got behind Burpo.
Despite his first-half goal, Schilawski was replaced by midfielder Khano Smith at halftime as the Revs looked to match Dallas’ five-man midfield.
New England was forced to alter its tactics just minutes later, however, as Dube was issued a straight red card for a challenge on Ugo Ihemelu in the 56th minute. As a result, Perovic – typically a midfielder – was forced into a lone striker role.
The Hoops almost made the most of their numerical advantage just two minutes later, but Burpo made a fantastic save – one of a career-high 10 in the game – on Harris’ flicked header from a left wing cross.
Burpo could do nothing about Harris’ next header, however, which he buried from six yards out in the 67th minute. Dax McCarty provided the service, curling in a right-wing free kick for Harris to finish and knot the score at 1-1.
The situation went from bad to worse for the Revs in the 72nd minute when Niouky – already on a yellow card – was issued a straight red for a reckless challenge on Heath Pearce.
Only the woodwork prevented Dallas from taking the lead in the 77th minute, when Brek Shea’s long-distance drive flew past Burpo but struck the underside of the crossbar. Seven minutes later, Kevin Alston was the Revolution’s savior, cutting out Harris’ cross with Shea waiting to finish from close range.
Dallas put the ball off the crossbar once more in the 87th minute, this time when Cunningham’s glancing header from 10 yards out struck the woodwork.
Twice the Hoops had chances to win the match in stoppage time, but Jason Yeisley’s close-range header was pawed away by Burpo and Shea skied a glorious chance from the left side of the box.
The Revs will close out their three-game home-stand with their first midweek game of the season on Wednesday, May 5, against Chivas USA. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. at Gillette Stadium.
New England Revolution (2-3-1, 7pts.) vs. FC Dallas (0-1-4, 4 pts.)
May 1, 2010 – Gillette Stadium (Foxborough, Mass.)
NE – Zack Schilawski (Dube) 41
DAL – Atiba Harris (McCarty) 66
New England Revolution: Preston Burpo (GK), Kevin Alston, Cory Gibbs ©, Darrius Barnes, Seth Sinovic (Kenny Mansally 81), Sainey Nyassi, Pat Phelan, Joseph Niouky, Marko Perovi?, Zack Schilawski (Khano Smith 46), Kheli Dube
Substitutes Not Used: Bobby Shuttleworth, Edgaras Jankauskas, , Nico Colaluca, Michael Videira, Zak Boggs
STATS: Shots: 10; Shots on Goal: 5; Saves: 10; Corner Kicks: 4; Offside: 2; Fouls Committed: 12
FC Dallas: Dario Sala (GK), Heath Pearce (Jason Yeisley 75), George John, Ugo Ihemelu, Jair Benitez, Atiba Harris, Brek Shea, Daniel Hernandez ©, Dax McCarty, David Ferreira, Jeff Cunningham
Substitutes Not Used: Kevin Hartman (GK), Bruno Guarda, Eric Avila, Zach Lloyd, Eric Alexander, Anthony Wallace
STATS: Shots: 22; Shots on Goal: 11; Saves: 4; Corner Kicks: 9; Offside: 2; Fouls Committed: 14
NE – Seth Sinovic (caution) 14
DAL – Jair Benitez (caution) 25
DAL – George John (caution) 42
DAL – Dario Sala (caution) 42
NE – Kheli Dube (ejection) 56
DAL – Dax McCarty (caution) 62
NE – Joseph Niouky (caution) 65
NE – Joseph Niouky (ejection) 72
NE – Sainey Nyassi (caution) 77
DAL – Atiba Harris (caution) 78
NE – Marko Perovi? (caution) 92+
NE – Preston Burpo (caution) 95+
Referee: Jeff Gontarek
Referee’s Assistants: George Ganser, Adam Wienckowski
Fourth Official: Andrew Chapin
Weather: 68 degrees, Cloudy
- The draw puts the Revolution at 22-10-2 (11-5-1 at home) all-time against FC Dallas and its first tie with the Hoops since a 1-1 tie at Dallas on July 4, 2001, a string of 20 games against FCD without a draw … the tie was also New England’s first of the season.
- The Revolution used the same starting lineup for the second consecutive game, but not the same bench … Zak Boggs replaced Chris Tierney on the bench … Tierney missed his first game of the season with a left knee sprain.
- New England scored its second first- half goal of the season and led at halftime for the first time in 2010.
- Zack Schilawski picked up his team-leading fourth goal of the season in the 42nd minute, assisted by Kheli Dube’s third helper of the year, also leading the club.
- Preston Burpo made seven saves in the first half, a season-high in only 45 minutes of play … he finished with ten saves.
- Burpo’s ten saves were a career high, besting his previous best of eight, which he achieved against the Revs on July 7, 2007 when he played for Chivas USA.
- Kheli Dube was shown a straight red card in the 56th minute and was ejected … the Revs played with ten men until Joseph Niouky was then shown a straight red card in the 72nd minute and the Revolution played with nine men for the duration of the match … the Revs were shown their first and second red cards of the season.
- Because of the red cards they received, the Revolution will be without the services of Kheli Dube and Joseph Niouky for Wednesday’s match against Chivas USA.
- Eleven different players were booked in the match, six for New England and five for Dallas … the Hoops were shown five yellow cards, while the Revs received five yellows and two straight reds … Joseph Niouky received a yellow and was shown a straight red in the 65th and 72nd minutes.
- The Revolution used only two of the maximum three substitutes on Saturday … it was the first time this season head coach Steve Nicol did not use the maximum three subs.