Lee Nguyen vs. Houston Dynamo

View from the Sideline: In midst of playoff push, every moment matters

We're often told that soccer is a game of fine margins and once again that agonizingly proved to be the case at Gillette Stadium on Saturday night.

What if A.J. Soares hadn't been knocked out of action for a vital minute? What if the visitors had kicked the ball out of play? The playoff picture would no doubt look much better heading into some tough-looking road trips but there are plenty of reasons to be cheerful.

We knew that the Dynamo would come to disrupt and do, basically, what the Dynamo do. They did not disappoint and their plan to outmuscle the Revs appeared to be working in the first half-hour. But fears this talented team may not be tough enough were dispelled when they fought fire with fire and rose to the challenge in the second half.

The goal was a work of art with Lee Nguyen's pass to Saer Sene inch-perfect. His finish was emphatic and the stadium erupted like I'd not seen before. I think I mentioned on the broadcast that amid the euphoria Jay Heaps roared at his team to switch in for the next five minutes. They did so and, for me, the equalizer came out of nowhere.

Some of the crowd behind me took offense that the ball wasn't booted out for A.J. to receive treatment and made their feelings clear to Dominic Kinnear. Far be it from me to take the opposition's side but I would want the Revs to do the same thing if the situation was reversed. If the referee thinks the injury is bad enough then he will stop the play. One-nil down at playoff rivals with 15 to play? It's a no-brainer.

At the final whistle Kinnear was quick to seek out Jay. He shook his hand and there was clear relief on his face when he told him, "You've got your team playing really good."

Kinnear was right. And if they can continue to show those qualities over the next few weeks then you might need to cancel those weekend plans in November.

For me, I'll be taking in the action from across the Pond before returning for Columbus. I'm already on to the landlord at my local pub to see if he'll connect my laptop to the big screen and have a Revs lock-in. Let's hope we're raising a pint to the postseason.