HARRISON, N.J. – If good teams find ways to win, then the New England Revolution are pretty darn good.
Adam Buksa’s stoppage-time winner capped a second-half comeback on Saturday night at Red Bull Arena, where the Revs claimed their fourth straight victory, 3-2, to complete a three-game season sweep over the rival Red Bulls. It was the Revolution’s 11th win of the season as they reached the halfway mark atop the Supporters’ Shield standings and with a healthy lead over the rest of the Eastern Conference.
Of those 11 wins, three have been by Saturday night’s wild 3-2 score line. Four others, meanwhile, have been grind-it-out, 1-0 triumphs. Sometimes the Revs have shut teams down. Other times – like Saturday night in New Jersey – they’ve simply outscored them.
“That means we’re leaning towards being a good team,” said sporting director and head coach Bruce Arena. “That’s what good teams do. Not every day is perfect. Not every game is perfect. In fact, every game is different.
“I told the team at the end of the game; I think that’s our fourth win in a row – three on the road and one at home – and that’s our best win. Everyone would think that the one [5-0 against Inter Miami CF] in Fort Lauderdale was our best win, but this was our best win because it showed character, determination, skill, and a real fighting mentality. I’m proud of the guys, because they’re going to be in a lot of difficult games as we enter the second half of the season, and you’ve got to have that kind of attitude.”
The Revs found themselves in that kind of game on Saturday, falling behind twice, first to Wikelman Carmona’s opener inside 10 minutes and again when Fabio immediately cancelled out a Gustavo Bou golazo that had pulled the Revs level in the 60th minute.
But despite that adversity – and despite trailing into the 84th minute – the Revs kept pressing, and they were rewarded with a pair of late goals. Brandon Bye equalized when he headed home Carles Gil’s free kick, setting the stage for Buksa to score his eighth goal of the season in the 91st minute and send the Revs to their MLS-best fifth road win of the season.
“A good team always finds ways to win games,” Andrew Farrell reiterated. “We wanted to start better, and we knew Red Bull was going to be a tough battle, but I think the guys battled well. Coming out with three points, especially in a game where we were down twice, feels really good.
“I think you can see the fight that the guys have that – no matter what game we’re in, no matter what the score is – we’re always going to give it our all to try to get, if we’re down a lot of goals, trying to get a point. But if we’re right in it, we’ll try to get three.”
The Revs got three on Saturday – both goals and points – and according to Arena, it was no more than they deserved for their performance over the 90 minutes.
“The fair result was us winning the game,” Arena said. “That was a fair result, in my opinion. Our guys earned it. They had to grind this thing out and compete, and they did it.”