Revs Finally Score, Win
Posted by tonybiscaia on July 11, 2010
By Chris Rosa
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – In a thrilling, action-packed match, a revitalized New England Revolution captured a convincing 2-0 victory against the league-leading Los Angeles Galaxy before a sea of 20,155 strong at Gillette Stadium Saturday night.
Marko Perovic ended the club’s 347-minute goalless streak when he blasted a 25-yard free kick that bulged the back of the net in the 67th minute. Sainey Nyassi, who played the part of offensive catalyst all night, scored the insurance goal when he cleaned up a rebound on Donovan Rickett’s doorstep in the 74th minute.
Without the services of Landon Donovan, who was given additional rest after starring for the United States National Team in the FIFA World Cup, the Galaxy never responded.
“We had numerous balls across the face of goal,” said Revolution manager Steve Nicol. “It was nice to finally get on the end of one.”
Indeed, the Revolution seized the lion’s share of scoring opportunities all evening.
They commenced the match composed and organized, as Shalrie Joseph directed the attacks, often putting quality passes through to his teammates.
The first such pass was a brilliant read to Nyassi down the right channel, where the right winger took control, beat his defender, but squandered a golden opportunity at goal when he hesitated then fed the ball back, where it bounced around the box and out of harm’s way.
Another opportunity came and went minutes later when Nyassi made another run along the right and whipped a tempting ball into the box, before it sailed by Joseph and Zack Schilawski.
In dire need of a reply, the Galaxy galvanized an opportunity in the 26th minute when Edson Buddle sprinted down the right, stopped, then sent it through the box before Darrius Barnes, starting in his first match since suffering an ankle sprain earlier in the season, snuffed it out with a solid clearance.
“It felt great (to play again),” said Barnes. “The biggest was just to come in and get some touches on the ball get that confidence back.”
And it was apparent that the rest of his teammates were also regaining their confidence as the half matured. Moments before the halfway whistle, Kevin Alston pushed up and played a looping ball through to Nyassi on the flank, where he cut right, found some space and delivered a sumptuous pass that missed Schilawski’s forehead by inches.
Although the home side had entered the second half with bundles of chances, the Revolution had to do something they hadn’t done since the end of May: score.
“We knew it was going to come,” said Joseph. “We spoke about it halftime. Even the guys who weren’t playing – including Taylor (Twellman) and other (teammates) – were encouraging us.”
It appeared as if that elusive goal was at hand in the 51st minute. Joseph sent a great diagonal ball to a loosely-marked Perovic near the far post. But the Serbian international put too little on the ball, and it deflected wide of goal.
Chance after chance, shot after shot, and yet, the goal that they so desperately searched to locate, seemed impossible to find. What did this club have to do to finally score a goal?
The answer came minutes after the hour. After Nyassi was fouled yards before the box, referee Paul Ward granted the hard-luck Revolution a dangerous free kick from the shadow of the D in the 67th minute.
Perovic stood before the ball, as the Los Angeles wall was constructed. With the approval of Ward, the attacking midfielder ripped a screamer around the row of defenders and past a startled Ricketts for the first Revolution goal since May 29th.
“He made the best out of the opportunity,” said Joseph. “We needed that goal. I could tell our legs were going to be tired because we were pushing all night. It came at a great time.”
Now, the Revolution were playing with swagger. They forced their guests to chase them, and less than ten minutes later, another opportunity was grabbed.
At the 74th minute, Joseph took a ball deep into the attacking third and whipped a hard shot that deflected off Nyassi, then bounced off the Ricketts’ mitts and gently off the far post, where it slowly strolled back into play. The Gambian, who had wreaked havoc on the Galaxy defense from the opening whistle, pounced on it immediately and put it through, sentencing the Galaxy to an unlikely two-goal deficit.
“I was in the right place at the right time,” said Nyassi. “It was an easy goal to score.”
The rest of the match was far from easy – for the Galaxy, at least. Without Donovan, the guests struggled to retaliate. Their hurried passes and hasty shots failed to close the difference, as the Revolution upset the team at the top of the table.
“They’re a great team,” said Joseph. “They’re the best team in the league right now and to beat them is going to go a long way for us.”