From the halls of Foxboro Stadium…

Same Old, Just Demoralizing

Posted by tonybiscaia on June 28, 2010

By Chris Rosa

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. –After a three-week respite from league play, the New England Revolution witnessed countless opportunities fall by the wayside, as the Chicago Fire scored the only goal necessary en route to a 1-0 victory at Gillette Stadium Sunday night.

Fire midfielder Marco Pappa seized the solitary goal at the half-hour when he launched a long-distance missile that sailed well out of the reach of an outstretched Matt Reis, who returned to league action for the first time this season.

“It’s becoming the same old story every week,” said Revolution manager Steve Nicol. “In the final third, we just don’t have the quality required (to score goals).”

Although the Revs struggled to put one through, they certainly uncovered chances throughout the evening.

In the tenth minute, Zak Boggs sprinted into space along the right and sent it into the box where it ping-ponged perilously close to goal before Andrew Dykstra scooped it up.

Later on, New England returned to Dykstra’s domain when Marko Perovic sent a quality ball through to Zack Schilawski deep inside the 18. But the rookie’s shot went begging as another chance went neglected midway through the half.

With the Revolution attack mode on home soil, the Fire was content to sit back and respond via the counterattack, with hope of exploiting a flat-footed Foxborough XI.

The strategy nearly paid dividends when Mike Banner collected a loose ball near midfield, blazed down the left, and fired a delicious cross into the area, where Baggio Husidic’s header narrowly cleared the bar in the 27th minute.

But Chicago’s next shot didn’t miss. Once again, the Fire reclaimed another ball near the halfway line, where Dasan Robinson took possession, then fed it ahead to Marco Pappa. With all sorts of space to roam, the Guatemalan carried it parallel to the line, squared himself with the net, and fired a rocket that lodged itself into the back of the net at the half hour.

“The goal is a classic case of what some of our problems are at the moment,” said Nicol. “It was avoidable – it just takes a bit of communication to pass a man on so (Pappa) doesn’t get (a lot of time) to line it up and bury it.”

Despite the crucial defensive lapse that allowed the Fire to claim the lead, the Revolution continued to pushed forward, with the equalizer in mind.

Minutes after Pappa’s blast, Sainey Nyassi paid homage to his midfield counterpart with a rip from distance before it betrayed him in the 36th minute. Seconds later, Chris Tierney found an unmarked Schilawski in the box before the rookie striker pushed the easy chance wide of the near post in the 37th minute.

“You can’t fault the effort,” said Nicol. “It’s just the quality on the end of those shots wasn’t there.”

Indeed, it was the finishing quality, or the lack thereof, that haunted local XI all night. By the second half, it became an exercise in futility.

“It was desperation on our part, passing around and trying to create chances,” said Revolution skipper Shalrie Joseph. “We work hard in practice all week. It’s just demoralizing to know that we can’t put it together when game night comes.”

True to from, the Revolution yet again failed to put it together again when Nyassi played a quality ball to Kheli Dube, before the header nodded it wide of frame, as another chance evaporated before their eyes.

Meanwhile, the Fire continued to watch the Revolution attacks fizzle, and camped themselves in front of goal, giving their opponent more opportunities at failure.

And so it continued, until the match ended with the guests on top, and shortly thereafter, out of town with three points to their credit.

“If we don’t put chances away, we make it difficult for ourselves,” said Revolution midfielder Pat Phelan.

“It just can’t happen from game to game. These are results that we should be getting (but aren’t). It’s frustrating.”


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