CARSON, Calif. – It took 88 minutes and a few tactical adjustments, but the New England Revolution finally broke through a resolute Chivas USA rearguard in the dying stages of Saturday night’s 1-1 draw at StubHub Center.
The hosts staunchly defended their one-goal lead – procured through an 18th-minute strike from Laurent Courtois – for the majority of the second half, ceding possession to the Revolution but stifling New England’s playmakers with relentless pressure in the defensive third.
For much of the game it looked as though the night would end in utter frustration for the Revs, who ultimately used a bit of width – and a touch of inspiration from second-half substitute Chad Barrett – to find an equalizer.
“We were a little bit disappointed with how we played for the majority of the game,” said head coach Jay Heaps. “We did a good job at times possessing it, but our balls in their half weren’t good enough. They were a little bit predictable. You deal with that. It was probably the first game where we couldn’t solve anything offensively.
“That said, our fight was really good. We never gave up. We never stopped knocking on the door. And of course we get through when Chad comes in, changes the game and scores the goal.”
Barrett was only on the field for five minutes before scoring his second league goal in a Revolution uniform, getting on the end of a Diego Fagundez cross and bundling the ball over the line. After unsuccessfully trying to play through a clogged middle of the field for much of the game, getting the ball wide and whipped into the box proved critical.
“We went to a 3-5-2, or really, a 3-4-3; whatever you want to call it when we were pushing forward,” Heaps said. “We knew the ball at some point would get whipped and crossed. We knew Chad would do a good job and he did.”
Barrett’s late equalizer salvaged a point for the Revs on a night when they felt they should’ve taken the full complement of three, but they’ll now turn their attention to a pair of upcoming home games, beginning next weekend when they’ll host the San Jose Earthquakes.
“Even though it wasn’t a clean performance, we leave with a point,” said Fagundez. “We’re not happy with it, but we have to take this point and move on to San Jose.”