CHESTER, Pa. – Philadelphia Union forward Jack McInerney scored the only goal of the game in the 76th minute as the New England Revolution suffered its first loss of the 2013 season, 1-0, on Saturday evening at a frigid and rain-drenched PPL Park.
Lee Nguyen set up a pair of quality chances for the Revolution (1-1-0, 3 pts.) either side of halftime, but Jerry Bengtson had his 35th-minute effort saved by Union goalkeeper Zac MacMath and Juan Toja clipped his shot wide in the 78th minute. The Union (2-1-0, 6 pts.) didn’t register a shot on target until the 74th minute, but made the breakthrough shortly thereafter when McInerney buried his own rebound after his initial header was saved.
It was the Revolution’s third straight visit to PPL Park that was decided by a late McInerney goal as the young forward scored winners in the 90th minute and 73rd minute, respectively, last season. The Revs are now winless (0-5-3) in eight all-time meetings with the Union.
Minor injuries to goalkeeper Matt Reis (L knee irritation) and central midfielder Kalifa Cisse (R groin tightness) forced Revs head coach Jay Heaps to alter the lineup which defeated the Chicago Fire last weekend. Bobby Shuttleworth started in place of Reis, while Homegrown rookie Scott Caldwell made his professional debut in midfield. After providing a spark off the bench last weekend, Kelyn Rowe also broke into the starting lineup.
Scoring chances were limited throughout the first half as both sides adjusted to the harsh conditions. Michael Lahoud – an eighth-minute substitute for the injured Danny Cruz – had Philadelphia’s best chance in the 34th minute but blasted wide when the ball fell kindly to him in the center of the box, while Nguyen sent Bengtson through on goal one minute later only for MacMath to come up with a kick save.
The second half began in similar fashion to the first as scoring chances were few and far between. It wasn’t until the 74th minute that Shuttleworth was forced to make save when he did well to push Lahoud’s deflected shot onto the top of the net.
Perhaps buoyed by the previous chance, Philadelphia made the breakthrough in the 76th minute. McInerney’s initial header from Sebastien Le Toux’s corner kick was palmed away by Shuttleworth, but the Union forward was on hand to bundle his own rebound over the line from close range.
Toja so nearly pulled the Revolution level just two minutes later when Nguyen’s clever pass sprang him into the box, but his chipped effort drifted wide of the far post.
Chad Barrett and Chris Tierney came on as the Revs moved to a 3-5-2 formation in the 79th minute, but their best chance – an 86th-minute Andrew Farrell cross which flew just out of the reach of Nguyen and Tierney – went begging and the Union held on to the narrow victory.
After kicking off the season with back-to-back road games, the Revs will now return to Gillette Stadium for their 2013 home opener. They’ll host Sporting Kansas City on Saturday, March 23, with kickoff set for 4 p.m.
New England Revolution at Philadelphia Union
March 16, 2013 – PPL Park (Chester, Pa.)
Philadelphia Union 1, New England Revolution 0
PHI – Jack McInerney (Sebastien Le Toux) 76
New England Revolution: Bobby Shuttleworth, Kevin Alston (Chris Tierney 79), Jose Goncalves, A.J. Soares, Andrew Farrell, Lee Nguyen, Clyde Simms © (Andy Dorman 46), Scott Caldwell, Kelyn Rowe, Juan Toja (Chad Barrett 79), Jerry Bengtson
Substitutes Not Used: Luis Soffner, Diego Fagundez, Darrius Barnes, Donnie Smith
STATS: Shots 11, Shots on Target 2, Corner Kicks 1, Saves 3, Fouls 15, Offsides 2, Passes (percentage) 364 (68.4%), Possession 44.2%
Philadelphia Union: Zac MacMath, Raymon Gaddis, Amobi Okugo, Jeff Parke, Sheanon Williams, Brian Carroll ©, Danny Cruz (Michael Lahoud 8), Keon Daniel, Michael Farfan (Antoine Hoppenot 67) Sebastien LeToux, Jack McInerney (Chris Albright 87)
Substitutes Not Used: Chris Konopka, Bakary Soumare, Roger Torres, Leo Fernandez
STATS: Shots 9, Shots on Target 4, Corner Kicks 4, Saves 2, Fouls 13, Offsides 1, Passes (percentage) 447 (76.5%), Possession 55.8%
* Note that all statistics are unofficial as supplied by Opta
NE – A.J. Soares (caution) 27
PHI – Amobi Okugo (caution) 42
NE – Bobby Shuttleworth (caution) 84
PHI – Jeff Parke (caution) 92+
Referee: Jose Carlos Rivero
Assistant Referees: Kermit Quisenberry, Adam Wienckowski
Fourth Official: Hilario Grajeda
Weather: Rain/Snow flurries, 36 degrees
New England Revolution – 1-1-0 (3 pts.)
Philadelphia Union – 2-1-0 (6 pts.)
- The loss pushed the Revs’ all-time record against Philadelphia to 0-5-3 … New England has never won against the Union since the club entered the league in 2010
- The Revs dropped to 0-3-2 in matches played at PPL Park
- The loss prevented the Revs from starting the season 2-0-0 for the first time in club history … New England has never won back-to-back games to open a season
- Tonight’s game marked the sixth time in eight meetings that the game was decided by a goal scored in the 70th minute or after
- Philly forward Jack McInerney has now scored four goals against the Revs in six appearances, including the last three game-winning goals in games played at PPL Park
- Jack McInerney’s goal in the 76th minute snapped the Revs’ 362-minute shutout streak, which dated back to – ironically – the Revs’ 1-0 loss at Philadelphia on Oct. 6, 2012, when McInerney scored in the 73rd minute
- The Revs’ 362-minute shutout streak spanned five games, dating back to Oct. 6, 2012
- Matt Reis missed tonight’s game with left knee inflammation
- Kalifa Cisse missed tonight’s game with right groin tightness
- Scott Caldwell made his MLS debut tonight, stepping into central midfield for the injured Kalifa Cisse … the Braintree, Mass. product signed a Homegrown contract with the Revs in the off-season after completing a four-year career at collegiate powerhouse Akron
- Kelyn Rowe stepped back into the starting lineup this week after collecting the game-winning assist at Chicago last weekend in 33-minute substitute appearance
- Andy Dorman made his 2013 debut with the Revs when he came on as a second-half sub
- Andy Dorman’s appearance in the second half was his first in a Revs uniform – and in MLS – since Nov. 18, 2007, in MLS Cup 2007
- Chris Tierney made his 2013 debut when he came on as a 79th-minute substitute … he missed the season opener at Chicago on March 9, while continuing to rehab a preseason ankle injury
- Bobby Shuttleworth made his first start of the season and the 20th of his career … tonight’s appearance was the 21st of his career
- Bobby Shuttleworth has started six of the Revs’ last seven games, dating back to the end of the 2012 season
- Forward Jerry Bengtson will depart on Sunday to join up with the Honduras national team for its World Cup Qualifiers against Mexico and Panama next weekend … he will miss the Revs’ home opener next Saturday, March 23, against Sporting Kansas City, but is expected to rejoin the team by Thursday, March 28