The New England Revolution were able to grab their first win of the season during the home opener, in which they defeated FC Dallas 1-0. It wasn’t exactly a pretty match, but good teams know how to win ugly. That was the case in this game, and there is plenty to improve upon. That being said, it’s massively important to start with 4 points through the first two matches.
The lone goal came just moments before the halftime whistle. Carles Gil moved into the left side of the Dallas box, only to have his foot stomped by Paxton Pomykal. Ted Unkel, the referee, did not call the penalty in live play. It seemed a pretty obvious one, and after a second look, he agreed. VAR awarded the penalty kick, and promptly, Gil stepped up to take it. The captain curled it into the bottom right, with the goalkeeper guessing the right way as well. Gil also indicated that he will soon be a father in his celebration.
The rest of the game was pretty even played. It was what is expected from an early-season game, the rust still needs to wear off. In the 74th minute, the Revolution should have had their second of the game through Gil again, but he could not finish. Bou cut in on the right foot, and after his curler was saved by Paes, Gil was unable to stick the rebound in a mostly open net.
The last quality chance for New England came in minute 81 when Gil perfectly placed a cross to the back post towards Gustavo Bou. Bou got his timing wrong on the first time volley, steering it into the side netting. He was wide open and had he gotten it right, the goalkeeper would have no chance to react in time. It did not end up changing the result, as the Revs held onto the 1-0 victory. Bruce Arena broke the record for the most MLS regular season victories of any coach of all time.
The Revolution will face a different obstacle in the middle of next week when Pumas of Mexico come to town for a CONCACAF Champions League matchup. Leg one of the quarter-final will take place at Gillette Stadium on Wednesday, then leg two will be in Mexico City next week. The schedule is loaded in the month of March, meaning squad rotation will be necessary.
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