Blown chances continue to haunt Revs

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Going into this week’s two-game home set, the Revs knew it was imperative to take the maximum amount of points from both matches, especially against Eastern Conference competition.

But, for the second straight game, the Revs failed to capitalize on a series of goal-scoring opportunities and, in the end, walked away with only a single point for their efforts after a 1-1 draw with Chicago on Saturday night.

“Overall, I felt like we pushed the game most of the time,” said Revolution manager Steve Nicol. “But, there’s a fine line between picking up maximum points and not.”

The Revs flirted with that fine line all night. For the second game in four days, they took the initiative early with a trio of early chances.

Three minutes into the match, Shalrie Joseph put the Fire on notice with a dangerous shot on frame that forced Sean Johnson to shove away.

Minutes later, the Revs launched another attack toward Johnson. Kenny Mansally floated a ball ahead toward Sainey Nyassi, who put a hard shot on frame that Johnson stoned in the seventh minute.

Another opportunity appeared in the 22nd minute when Nyassi sent a swift pass to Rajko Lekic, who fired upon an open net before Johnson jumped to his left and swatted it away.

“We could have been up by three goals in the first half and that would have been really helpful,” said Nyassi. “Unfortunately, we couldn’t finish our chances in the first half.”

Those missed chances came back to haunt the Revs in the 32nd minute when the Fire caught the Revs defensively flat-footed.

On a quick-strike attack, Dominic Oduro grabbed a pass from Patrick Nyarko into space and, after beating defender Darrius Barnes, put it past Matt Reis to give the guests the lead before halftime.

“We’re coming into halftime one down when we should be three-up,” said Nicol. “Defensively, we’ve been great this year, but tonight, we defended terribly.”

While the Revs' defense may have betrayed on the Oduro goal, it was clear that, no matter what the score was, the attack could not afford to let their chances continually vanish.

They finally converted one in the 48th minute when Pat Phelan collected a loose ball near the box and sent it ahead to Lekic, who took it and went alone on goal before sending it through for the equalizer in the 48th minute.

“I saw that Pat [Phelan] was going to shoot on goal,” said Lekic. “I was thinking if he missed the ball, I was all alone and I can get the ball in a free position and then make the goal, hopefully. And that happened."

But the Revs, of course, needed at least another goal to give them the three points from Saturday night’s match.

In the 54th minute, A.J. Soares attempted to squeeze a pair of Chris Tierney corner kicks through the near post, but each failed to punch the back of the net.

As the hour mark drew near, the Revs, coming off their mid-week match against Toronto, began to show signs of fatigue.

“We ran out of legs,” said Nicol. “We tried to get forward. When you’re doing that when you’re tired, you’re going to leave holes.”

While the Revs' form started to deteriorate, Chicago exploited those holes in the attacking third by regularly peppering Reis with shots.

In the 73rd minute, Orr Barouche pounded a Baggio Husidic corner that was destined for the back of the net before Ryan Guy nodded it off the line.

As the Revs' tired legs struggled to keep pace with their opponents, Oduro menaced the defense with a pair of sure-fire strikes that were thwarted by Reis and Darrius Barnes.

While the Revs' defense may have held on to salvage a point, it was clear that the Revs weren't satisfied.

“We’re disappointed, and it feels like a loss,” said Nicol. “But that’s just how it’s going at the present time. Certainly can’t have any complaints making chances again, but we need to start putting them in.”