PORTLAND, Ore. – After scoring first in seven straight games the New England Revolution finally conceded the opening goal on Saturday night at Providence Park.
And unfortunately when they did, there was little time left to mount a comeback.
Second-half substitute Fanendo Adi scored the game-winning goal in the 86th minute, then tacked on an insurance tally three minutes later as the Revs fell to the Portland Timbers by a score of 2-0.
“It wasn’t our best game overall,” said Revolution head coach Jay Heaps. “I thought our fight and our commitment was really good, but in the end, too many guys just didn’t have their stuff tonight.”
Adi scored the deciding goal from a set piece, nodding home Jorge Villafana’s left-wing service.
Heaps said he would need to see film of the goal to accurately assess what went wrong on the Revolution’s defending, but he already knew he wasn’t happy with what preceded the free kick.
“I didn’t like the foul to give it,” Heaps said of Lee Nguyen’s foul on Darlington Nagbe. “It was unnecessary, so we have to be a little bit sharper and smarter in those areas.”
Heaps called the period between the 20th minute and halftime the Revolution’s best spell as Kelyn Rowe forced Portland goalkeeper Adam Kwarasey into two of his three saves on the night.
But New England never sparked to life after the break and were outshot 12-1 in the second half as the Timbers piled on the pressure which led to what seemed like an inevitable breakthrough.
“We never got control in the second half,” Heaps said. “Our first half, I was happy with, but the second half, in the end, we were just giving up too much space and too much pressure.”
There are lessons to be learned from Saturday night’s performance – Heaps noted the Revolution’s posture and said they could’ve pushed further up the field at times – and they’ll need to be implemented quickly as the Revs return home for a huge game against the Chicago Fire next weekend.
“We’re going to look at the film on this and take our medicine,” Heaps said after the Revs’ winless run reached six games (0-2-4). “But at the same time, we’re looking at this film to prepare us for Saturday.”