Gritty Victory For Revs
Posted by tonybiscaia on August 8, 2010
By Chris Rosa
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Pat Phelan’s first career goal keyed the New England Revolution to a 1-0 victory over DC United Saturday night at Gillette Stadium.
Phelan, a third-year midfielder from Wake Forest, emerged from a scrum of players inside the 18 to galvanize the only goal of the game in the 42nd minute.
“We really didn’t have much in the legs,” said Revolution manager Steve Nicol. “But we stuck at it and got a goal.”
That goal wouldn’t come easy. Coming off Wednesday night’s scrappy SuperLiga semifinal, the Revolution appeared listless under the lights.
Pablo Hernandez hoped to take advantage of the ragged Revs after he fired a shot on frame that Matt Reis collected in the 12th minute.
The Revolution looked to counter a couple of minutes later, but Shalrie Joseph’s header inside of the six went wide of frame.
After thirty minutes of unremarkable soccer from both clubs, Zack Schilawski launched a long distance laser in that narrowly missed the far post in the 39th minute.
Four minutes later, the Revolution capitalized when Chris Tierney lifted a long free kick near the center circle that Phelan flicked past Bill Hamid to give the home lads the lead going into the half.
“I actually started in an offside position,” said Phelan. “I came back onside when my man didn’t follow me and I was able to get a good read on the ball and it went in.”
Down a goal entering the second half, DC tried to take advantage of the weary-legged Revs in the attack third.
In the 56th minute, Hernandez and Bronko Boskovic played a one-two that culminated in a heady shot in front of Reis, who poked the ball away to thwart the opportunity.
Another golden chance to equalize on the 63rd minute was squandered when Chris Pontius took a pass into the box and grossly misfired a shot that wobbled wide of the woodwork.
Hoping to find more in his team’s attack, newly-appointed DC manager Ben Olsen inserted former Revolution striker Adam Cristman in the 68th minute.
Nicol countered with an offensive-minded move of his own four minutes later when he sent in newly-signed striker Ilija Stolica, who returned from London yesterday to receive his visa, onto the pitch to sharpen New England’s bite.
“I didn’t sleep well, but it was important to play,” said Stolica. “I hope to be in better shape for the next game.”
Meanwhile, DC struggled to find any shape on the pitch. Stephen King gave it a go from distance 73rd minute, while Cristman drilled a header on the doorpost that skidded wide of the near post six minutes later.
With a last-gasp goal on their minds, some late-minute drama arrived in stoppage time when Olsen’s side swarmed the box, with the ball briefly buzzing left to right inside New England’s box.
But the Revs defenders swiftly snuffed it out, as Cory Gibbs blasted it back toward Hamid and the boys in blue claimed three points from Olsen’s boys.
“We did what we had to do,” said Nicol. “It wasn’t pretty, but we got three points, and we’ll take three points every week.”