MLS New England Revolution

Match Report: New York Red Bulls 1, Revolution 0 — A tough defeat, but Revs back into playoffs courtesy Dallas’ win

Everything you need to know about the Revolution’s 1-0 loss to New York Red Bulls Wednesday night in quickie form:

THE SKINNY

Revolution falter late, had to wait to clinch: The Boys In Blue only needed a draw here on the banks of the Passaic, and they were only minutes from achieving that and punching their ticket to the postseason for the second straight year. But New York got a late goal — How late? Try the 89th minute — to claim all three points and to move the Red Bulls closer to clinching their own spot, and to spoil New England’s playoff party. That loss meant New England, now in seventh place after the Red Bulls leap-frogged them, had to wait an hour and a half to find out the result of FC Dallas and Inter Miami; an Inter draw or loss would also be enough for the Revs to clinch. As it turned out, FC Dallas came up with a 2-1, come-from-behind victory over Inter to clinch playoff spots for the Revs, Red Bulls, and Nashville.

Long pops Red Bulls ahead in 89th: A tough way to lose. Alexander Büttner had to concede a late corner kick, and that leads to the match-winning tally. Tim Parker nodded the service down into the penalty area, and Aaron Long measured his shot into the back of the net, giving New York the lone goal in the match.

First half is scoreless: New England had a few good opportunities in the first 45, but couldn’t get enough to break through. The Revs (56 percent possession in the first half) out-muscled the Red Bulls in the midfield, but low crosses in the final third were easily cleared. New England only had one shot on-target in the first half, that coming from Diego Fagundez on a side footer that he didn’t get enough on. Fagundez also had a cut-back toward Kekuta Manneh that Long slid and cleared. New York had a couple of shots with one on-target; the others went into the stands.

Fagundez ties Joseph with start: Bruce Arena made three changes to his XI for this midweek tilt, which saw Leominster’s Fagundez move into a tie with Shalrie Joseph for career appearance No. 261, the all-time team lead. The changes centered around the attacking unit, with Kelyn Rowe moving into the defensive midfield and seeing Tommy McNamara slide up. Manneh replaced Tajon Buchanan, while Adam Buksa slid in up top in place of Teal Bunbury.

WHO’S HOT

Center back pairing: Without a doubt, the play of Andrew Farrell and Henry Kessler in the last 10-15 minutes did their absolute level best to keep the Red Bulls off the scoreboard for as long as they were. Their positioning, if not their tracking back, did exactly what they needed to do.

WHO’S NOT

Offense: Two shots on-target isn’t going to get it done.

LET’S TALK ABOUT STATS, BABY

56.4 percent of the ball

76 percent passing accuracy

10 percent crossing on 21 crosses

Five yellows to the Revs, none to the Red Bulls

13 shots, 2 on-target

WHAT SWEENS REALLY THINKS RIGHT NOW

Honestly? The crossing really isn’t working — 10 percent tonight, 6 percent against Nashville last Friday, 20 percent against Philadelphia nine days ago — hasn’t for a while, and the Revolution continue, rather repetitively and unsuccessfully, to go to that well. Newsflash: Teams are bunkering in on New England. I’ve said this for weeks. The Revs need to hit hard on the counter and score that way. That’s really the only way this team has been able to score recently.

Honestly? Why can’t this team take care of its own business? Sure, a draw was all that was needed, and yes, this defending is good — but I think not putting your strongest offensive players in a position to succeed and, you know, realistically go for the win is why you had to wait until after 10:30 p.m. ET to celebrate.

THEY SAID IT

“We’re really disappointed. We just needed a point to clinch a playoff spot, but yeah, really disappointed to concede especially so late in the game on a set piece like that, where we felt most of the game we had the better chances, better opportunities, and more control of the game.” — Henry Kessler on Revolution Postgame Live

ON TAP

It’s the home regular-season finale and the penultimate match in 2020, as the Revs will host DC United, a team that has now won three straight. Kick-off at Gillette is slated for 7:30 p.m. See you there.