FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – The New England Revolution had reason to be upset with outside factors following Saturday night’s frustrating 2-1 loss to the Houston Dynamo.
Two legitimate penalty claims were turned away in the second half as Dynamo defender Bobby Boswell raised his arm to block a shot from Lee Nguyen and goalkeeper Tally Hall appeared to cut down Dimitry Imbongo inside the box. The Revs suffered 15 fouls, but only one yellow card was handed out to a Dynamo player.
But in the aftermath – as the Dynamo tightened its grip on the fifth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference – the Revs mostly voiced disappointment in themselves for not responding to adversity in the method required.
“It was really physical really early,” said head coach Jay Heaps. “Lee Nguyen got whacked hard two or three times by Ricardo Clark. You can only play; you need a little help once in a while. You need the man in the middle to say, ‘guys, we’re going to play today.’ When that doesn’t happen, we need a reaction and we didn’t get it from ourselves. That’s what disappoints me.
“Unfortunately it’s hard sometimes, but we weren’t good enough. It’s on us; the onus is on us. We’ve got to be stronger and we’ve got to be better.”
The Revs were prepared for a physical game plan from the Dynamo, but struggled to react when the physicality went mostly unpunished. They failed to capitalize on the few set-piece opportunities provided them in the final third and eventually succumbed to a pair of long-range rockets from Adam Moffat.
“They obviously had a game plan and that was to disrupt us at midfield and put us under pressure,” said Chris Tierney, who was left with a gash on his right ear after a first-half elbow from Moffat. “It was tough to deal with. Credit to them; they’re a physical team and I don’t think we dealt with that as well as we could have, but I thought we had some decent times in the game where we put some things together. Overall, I’m not sure we were good enough to take three (points).”