FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – The New England Revolution earned a 2-1 win against Sporting Kansas City tonight at Gillette Stadium in the first leg of the teams’ Eastern Conference Semifinal series behind goals from Andy Dorman and Kelyn Rowe. The Revs now hold a one-goal lead in the teams’ aggregate-goal series, with the second – and decisive – leg set for Wednesday, Nov. 6, at Sporting Park. The team that scores the most goals in the two-leg series will advance to the two-game Eastern Conference Championship series.
After a scoreless first half, the Revs came out and built a 2-0 lead before Sporting quickly cut the lead to one. Revolution goalkeeper Matt Reis – who went undefeated at 7-0-4 in the regular season – made a stunning save in the third minute of stoppage time on SKC’s Dom Dwyer to preserve the win.
The win was the Revolution’s first postseason victory since 2009, and gave the Revs the edge heading into Wednesday’s second leg. The Revs’ two goals were the team’s first against Kansas City in any competition since 2011.
Sporting KC had the game’s first chance in the 17th minute when Revs defender A.J. Soares re-directed Jacob Peterson’s cross while under pressure from C.J. Sapong, but the ball just trickled wide of Matt Reis’ far post. On the ensuing corner kick, Chance Myer’s headed shot was cleared off the line by Lee Nguyen and then Aurelien Collin’s follow-up was just wide of goal.
Sporting’s Teal Bunbury had a great chance in the 35th minute, set up when Graham Zusi played Bunbury over the back of the Revs’ defense. Bunburytook the ball down, but Reis had come out and closed the angle, making a point-blank save three yards out from goal.
The Revs finally broke through in the second half, when they created a goal off a broken corner kick in the 55th minute. After SKC cleared the initial service, Rowe sent the ball into the mixer to Juan Agudelo, who kicked it out wide right to Diego Fagundez. Fagundez took a touch and rocketed off a shot, which Sporting keeper Jimmy Nielsen saved. The rebound, however, kicked off Agudelo and back off Nielsen, and Dorman was on the doorstep to knock in the loose ball and give the Revs a 1-0 lead.
The Revs extended the lead in the 67th minute when New England combined through the midfield, setting up their second goal. Agudelo played Nguyen ahead, and the midfielder then flicked the ball to the right to Rowe, who found space on the inside of his defender and first-timed his shot inside the far post past Nielsen.
Kansas City pulled one back two minutes later in the 69th when they scored off a free kick. Lawrence Olum sent the initial service in, and after the ball was kicked out, Myers sent it back into the penalty area where Sapong back-heeled it to Collin, unmarked on the far post for the tap in and a 2-1 game.
Both teams continued to press forward and the game became increasinglychippy. Six cautions were shown in the game’s final 21 minutes
Reis’ save in the third-minute of stoppage time clinched the game for the Revs, and sends the team to Kansas City with the one-goal advantage on Wednesday.
A total of seven players were shown yellow cards in the match, with four Revs seeing cards: Dimitry Imbongo, Nguyen, Soares and Chad Barrett. Seth Sinovic, Bunbury and Collin were shown yellow for Kansas City. A second yellow card by any player in the next game will mean they would be forced to miss the first leg of the Eastern Conference Championship should his team advance.
The Revolution and Sporting will play the Second Leg of their Eastern Conference Semifinal series when the teams meet on Wednesday, Nov. 6, at Sporting Park. Kickoff is set for 9 p.m. ET, and the match will be broadcast live on TV by Comcast SportsNet’s alternate channels and on the radio by 98.5 The Sports Hub HD2.
For more information about 2014 ticketing options, including multi-game plans and individual game tickets, please visit revolutionsoccer.net/tickets.
New England Revolution vs. Sporting Kansas City
November 2, 2013 – Gillette Stadium (Foxborough, Mass.)
New England Revolution 2, Sporting Kansas City 1
NE – Andy Dorman 1 (unassisted) 55
NE – Kelyn Rowe 1 (Lee Nguyen 1, Juan Agudelo 1) 67
KC – Aurelien Collin 1 (C.J. Sapong 1, Chance Myers 1) 69
New England Revolution: Matt Reis, Darrius Barnes, Jose Goncalves, A.J. Soares, Andrew Farrell, Diego Fagundez, Andy Dorman, Lee Nguyen, Kelyn Rowe (Chad Barrett 85), Juan Agudelo, Dimitry Imbongo (Scott Caldwell 71)
Substitutes Not Used: Bobby Shuttleworth, Stephen McCarthy, Donnie Smith, Jerry Bengtson, Charlie Davies
STATS: Shots 1, Shots on Target 3, Corner Kicks 2, Saves 3, Fouls 13,Offsides 2, Passes 234, Possession 37.9%
Sporting Kansas City: Jimmy Nielsen, Seth Sinovic, Aurelien Collin, MattBesler, Chance Myers, Graham Zusi, Lawrence Olum, Oriol Rosell, Jacob Peterson (Soony Saad 70), Teal Bunbury (Dom Dwyer 77), C.J. Sapong
Substitutes Not Used: Eric Kronberg, Ike Opara, Benny Feilhaber, Peterson Joseph, Mechack Jerome
STATS: Shots 7, Shots on Target 4, Corner Kicks 3, Saves 1, Fouls 12,Offsides 2, Passes 405, Possession 62.1%
* Note that all statistics are unofficial as supplied by Opta
SKC – Seth Sinovic (caution) 53
NE – Dimitry Imbongo (caution) 69
SKC – Teal Bunbury (caution) 71
SKC – Aurelien Collin (caution) 76
NE – Lee Nguyen (caution) 84
NE – A.J. Soares (caution) 90
NE – Chad Barrett (caution) 92+
Referee: Ismail Elfath
Assistant Referees: George Ganser, Corey Rockwell
Fourth Official: Jorge Gonzalez
Weather: Cloudy and 54 degrees
Sporting Kansas City: 0-1-0 (17-10-7, 58 pts.)
New England Revolution: 1-0-0 (14-11-9, 51 pts.)
- Original MLS clubs, this was the first-ever postseason meeting between New England and Sporting Kansas City
- The Revolution’s win was its first postseason victory since the team earned a 2-1 win over the Chicago Fire in game 1 of the 2009 Eastern Conference Semifinal Series
- This was Jay Heaps’ first postseason victory as a head coach of the Revs … Heaps holds the club’s postseason appearance record as a player with 28 appearances
- This was the first postseason match at Gillette Stadium since Nov. 1, 2009 – a 2-1 win over the Chicago Fire in the Eastern Conference Semifinal Series
- Andy Dorman recorded his first-ever postseason goal with the Revs … he entered tonight with two career postseason assists in nine previous appearances
- This was Andy Dorman’s first postseason appearance since Nov. 18, 2007 – MLS Cup 2007 when he came on as a second-half sub in the 2-1 loss to Houston at RFK Stadium
- Kelyn Rowe scored his first-ever postseason goal in his first career playoff match … in all competitions this season, Rowe now has 12 goals (seven in MLS regular-season, four in U.S. Open Cup and one in MLS Cup Playoffs)
- Lee Nguyen recorded his first postseason assist with his set-up of Kelyn Rowe’s goal
- Tonight’s attendance of 15,156 was the team’s highest attendance at a home postseason game since they brought in 18,118 for the 2005 Eastern Conference Final on Nov. 6, 2005
- Darrius Barnes made his first postseason appearance since 2009 when he started at left back for the injured combination of Chris Tierney (R foot) and Kevin Alston (R hamstring), who both were unavailable
- Matt Reis made his 20th postseason appearance for the Revs with tonight’s start … he is now 9-6-5 in postseason action with New England
- A total of eight of the Revs’ 11 starters made their MLS Cup Playoffs debut tonight … the only three players with previous postseason experience were Matt Reis (20 appearances), Andy Dorman (nine appearances) and Darrius Barnes (two appearances)