ORLANDO, Fla. – Before the New England Revolution arrived at Exploria Stadium for a Sunday night battle against Orlando City SC, they made history as the squad clinched the club’s first-ever Supporters' Shield as other league results fell in their favor on Saturday afternoon.
However, that didn’t stop New England from bringing the fight in Orlando as the team came from behind to secure a thrilling 2-2 draw. The squad has sights set on more with the MLS single-season points record and MLS Cup still on the line, and taking home a hard-fought road point truly showcases the Revs’ never-give-up mentality.
"Not many teams would have walked off that field with a point tonight, so I’ll give them a lot of credit," said head coach Bruce Arena. "Having said that, we need to be disappointed with our performance in the first 45 minutes. I think we could’ve been better.”
“We have a fantastic team with players that have huge quality,” said Adam Buksa. “It doesn't matter if it's the starting XI or the players that start on the bench.
“The first half was a little bit sloppy on our side, we weren't sharp enough. The second half, Bruce made some changes, and even though we conceded the second goal, we were still able to bounce back and get the result here in Orlando. I think one point is a good result.”
New England undeniably earned that point, and secured it in dramatic fashion.
As the Revs trailed by two goals into the 81st minute, Buksa’s guile changed the game with a creative one-touch finish off Gustavo Bou’s cross to cut the Lions’ lead in half.
Twelve minutes later, in the midst of stoppage time, magic happened again in Orlando. DeJuan Jones provided service to Buksa for a powerful header in the 93rd minute to salvage a point to bring home.
“I was hyped,” said Jon Bell on the dramatic equalizer. “I think we were all hyped. One thing about this team is we’re never going to give up, regardless of where we are, the conditions of the game, what the score is. We’re going to play the full 90 and the added time on.
“Adam does what he does best. He uses his head and he knows how to score. He came in big for us, big time.”
The Revs finish the 2021 campaign with a club record on the road of 10-3-4, securing 34 of their 70 points so far away from home.
As New England returns to Foxborough, it will be their final plane ride during the 2021 campaign because their last two regular season games and also all postseason matchups are guaranteed to take place at Gillette Stadium with their Supporters' Shield title.
“For our team, these next two games dictate how we’re going to start the playoffs right,” said Bell. “We want to end the regular season on a win, with three points. We’re not even looking at the record, we just want to win each game."