After going well over a month without winning a game, including five straight losses, the New England Revolution have finally tucked one into the win column. It was far from pretty. Three points are three points, but the sloppy play and negative trends continue. New England conceded their sixth goal of the season after the 75th minute, in just seven games. Though this time, the team was able to hold on.
It did not take long for Buksa to open his MLS account, finding the goal just eight minutes in. Brandon Bye played one of his better crosses into the box, and Buksa was able to score one of his signature headers through the crowd.
Despite the quick start, the rest of the game was pretty slow. Charlotte had plenty of dangerous crosses and chances that could have tied the game at one. Daniel Rios fired a rocket off the near post of Knighton’s net, who had a spectacular game. Knighton was credited for 5 saves, including some big ones that he had to reach for down low. As the final minutes loomed, things got nervier.
New England grabbed their second goal on a goalmouth scramble, in which Charlotte FC’s Corujo blasted an attempted clearance off the leg of Matt Polster. Polster scored the Revs’ second on a creepily similar goal to the own goal he conceded against New York two matches prior. Despite the cushion, the eleven on the pitch had trouble closing the game once again.
In minute 85, Titi Ortiz scored somewhat of a flukey goal that looped into Knighton’s net to halve the scoreline. That is what happens when sitting back and inviting pressure into the defensive third. Countering the pressure with some attacking pressure of their own would be a far more effective strategy, but it seems that a Bruce Arena and his men do not plan on learning from their mistakes. Nevertheless, the final ten minutes came off the clock, and the Revolution finally had the lead when the final whistle blew.
The win for New England moves them into just eleventh place, truly showcasing the hole they dug themselves. The record now stands at 2-4-1, with seven points. While it wasn’t a great win, it’s something to build off of going into the next. The Revolution will go back on the road to visit DC United, a team that is also struggling, blowing a lead of their own to Austin FC today. In addition, DC plays in the Open Cup on Tuesday, so they will be on a shorter rest next Saturday at 7:30 PM EST.
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