FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – The most important thing the New England Revolution took away from Sunday afternoon’s 3-3 draw with the Houston Dynamo was a point in the Eastern Conference standings. But the Revs boarded their flight back to Boston with more than just a valuable road result.
They also took home one or two lessons from the seesaw encounter, which saw the Revs labor through a chaotic first half and relinquish an early lead, conceding three times before the final whistle.
Diego Fagundez’s wonder strike after three minutes got the Revolution off to the perfect start at BBVA Compass Stadium, but the next 42 minutes were controlled by Houston. Head coach Jay Heaps said he was “disappointed” with the first half, and Charlie Davies had a pretty good idea why.
“I think once we got that first goal we kind of were content a little bit and we didn’t continue to push,” said Davies, who opened his 2016 account early in the second half. “I think from here on out, once we get that goal we’ve got to make sure that we continue to be hungry and want more.”
New England were also punished for a few defensive lapses, as they conceded in those critical five-minute junctures just before and just after halftime.
A bit of miscommunication led to Cristian Maidana’s equalizer in first-half stoppage time, and a turnover in a bad spot resulted in Andrew Wenger’s go-ahead goal five minutes after the halftime break.
“They got us on a counterattack with a poor giveaway in our end,” said Heaps, while also crediting Giles Barnes for a strong finish in the 77th minute. “Two passes, three passes and they slice through us, and that’s not good enough from us. We can’t have an advanced position turnover lead to a goal.”
The good news for the Revs is that despite a few missteps, they still managed to open the season with a point away from home. It’s long been said that the mark of a great side is finding a way to get results even on days when they’re not at their best.
This is also the time of year when mistakes are common. Lessons will be learned throughout the early portion of the campaign; what’s important is recognizing those issues and correcting them with haste.
“It’s a learning experience,” said Davies. “It’s a good point from the first game of the season and I think this will help us in the long run come the end of the season.”
“We need to work on a couple things, but it’s just the start. It’s the first game,” said Fagundez. “Now we have to look forward to our home opener. That’s the most important thing right now.”