FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Juan Agudelo’s introduction midway through the second half sparked the New England Revolution’s most promising spell in Saturday night’s 1-1 draw with the Houston Dynamo.
After burly forward Dimitry Imbongo wore down Houston’s backline for the opening hour, Agudelo entered in the 62nd minute and immediately created gaps with his vertical runs. The movement prompted Saer Sene’s opener in the 64th minute when Lee Nguyen played the Frenchman into acres of space down the right side.
The Revs were well on top in the following 10 minutes as Kelyn Rowe, Diego Fagundez and Agudelo all directed shots off target from promising positions – nine of the Revolution’s 15 shots on the night were off frame – but they failed to capitalize during that stretch.
“I thought we had opportunities to close the game out, but Houston’s a really good team and they hold on,” said Revs head coach Jay Heaps. “Unfortunately we didn’t take our chances as well as we can. It’s a point, but at the same time, we need more points at home.”
Allowed to stick around, Houston took advantage of a rare defensive breakdown when Will Bruin took a Boniek Garcia feed and drilled the tying goal off the underside of the crossbar in the 76th minute.
Heaps allowed that the Revs could’ve defended better during that sequence, but both players and coaches pointed back to their inability to grab a second goal during that strong spell after scoring the opener.
“We had a good run of play, for sure,” said Chris Tierney, who struck the woodwork with an excellent free kick late in the first half. “We created plenty of chances and I think had we taken one, I think 2-0 would’ve been curtains for them. Unfortunately we didn’t get that goal. It’s disappointing.”
The draw leaves the Revs just outside the playoff picture in the Eastern Conference heading into October, when they’ll play three of their four remaining matches on the road.
“I think no matter what happened tonight it was going to be a tough four games coming up,” said Heaps. “I’m proud of the guys and the way they played (tonight), but at the same time, we have four games left that we have to get points in. There’s no question in my mind that it’s going to be a tough road.”