MLS New England Revolution

Match Report: Revolution 3, NYCFC 2 — Revs escape with fourth straight W

Everything you need to know about the Revolution’s 3-2 win over New York City FC Saturday night in quickie form:

THE SKINNY

Revs escape Harrison with late-gasp winner by McNamara: Wipe the sweat off those brows, folks. It wasn’t pretty — New England looked pretty flat at times; the defending horrid, too — but the Revolution pull out a thrilling 3-2 win over New York City FC at Red Bull Arena Saturday night. Second-half goals by Jon Bell and Tommy McNamara, the latter in the dying embers of the game, erased Ismael Tajouri-Schradi’s equalizer to give the Revs all three points to continue their lockdown on first place in the Eastern Conference. The win is New England’s fourth straight on the bounce, and is its second road victory in a row. In addition, New England leap-frogged Seattle — for the time being, at least — in the Supporter’s Shield table.

A wild second half on the banks of the Passaic: In a match that screamed for excitement — I tweeted in the 65th minute that I wasn’t entertained — we got it in the final 20 minutes. New York City had equalized in the 55th minute by Thiago, who entered the match at halftime, and after James Sands found himself cautioned for punking Adam Buksa out on the far touchline, a free kick service was nearly cleared by NYC. But the Revs recovered possession and Carles Gil got the ball into the box, when Bell headed home to put New England ahead, 2-1, in the 78th minute. In the 85th, it was second-half sub Tajouri-Schradi who sliced a rebound off Matt Polster’s body from point-blank range to re-level it at 2-2. But three minutes later, New England took the win as Gil fed Tajon Buchanan, who crossed into McNamara. The former Pigeon slid and knocked in the match-winner — and then it was up to Matt Turner to make massive saves after the full 90 was up to secure the three points.

Turner saves pen, Bou picks one out: Two massive moments highlight the first 45 minutes. In the 10th minute, Revs center back Andrew Farrell was adjudged to have taken Jesus Medina down in the penalty area, and referee Allen Chapman proceeded to point to the spot, the NYCFC penalty awarded. Valetin Castellanos tried to beat Turner, but he must have forgotten.. this is Matt Bleeping Turner: the New Jersey native waited for Castellanos to move, he dove to his right, and stopped Castellanos’ penalty attempt. And while NYC had a few good chances and controlled play, the Revs went up, 1-0, after Gustavo Bou picked a header out of thin air at the top of the 18 and buried the side volley beyond Sean Johnson to give New England the lead after 27 minutes. While New England had more of the ball — 54.5 percent — it only had two shots, both of which on target, but NYCFC looked a tad more dangerous.

Three changes, and McNamara starts — in the No. 11: Bruce Arena made three changes to the starting lineup off the three-week break, but one change stood out more than any of them — McNamara playing up in the No. 11 role usually manned by Buchanan, fresh off CONCACAF World Cup qualifying matches for Canada. Keep in mind that New England has three matches in eight days, and Arena will spread the minutes out. Bell replaced Henry Kessler at left center back, while Maciel slipped into the defensive midfield and took Buchanan’s slot in the lineup; McNamara played against Cincinnati. In addition, Bou, who missed Cincinnati, slipped into the No. 9, replacing Buksa. Farrell made his 248th appearance, too.

WHO’S HOT

Gustavo Bou: Bou went 81 minutes and scored the opener — and what an opener it was! And don’t forget the tackle he made late in the game. That was class. So was the goal. He’s now on three goals in 2021, and 17 career goals in MLS.

Matt Turner: Seven saves on nine New York City shots on-target, including a peno save and how many saves with NYC trying to get another equalizer in second-half stoppage time? I had counted three. Absolutely stellar.

WHO’S NOT

Defending in 55th minute: While there wasn’t much that could have been done to stop Tajouri-Schradi’s goal in the 85th, rewind half an hour and you’ll find some rather lackadaisical defending on the part of the Revolution. Some ball-watching, leaving Thiago unmarked. We haven’t had much to whinge about when it comes to the defending in 2021, but that was rather drab and inexcusable.

LET’S TALK ABOUT STATS, BABY

New England ended up with 48.9 percent of the ball

8 shots, 5 on-target

76.9 percent passing accuracy

16 crosses — connected on 25 percent of them. FOUR.

WHAT SWEENS REALLY THINKS RIGHT NOW

This was a big time Jekyll & Hyde match for New England. I re-iterate the lack of entertaining play on either side, but the Revs came out of the gate flat and only had gasps of good play. Outside of Bou’s goal, they hardly threatened Sean Johnson in the first 45 minutes. When things got sticky, though, they rose to the occasion and made the onion bag burp thrice. That was resiliency on the part of the Revolution.

THEY SAID IT

“I think in the first half, they won a lot of second balls in the midfield. I think they out-competed us a bit. We found it tough to get ourselves into the game. And then I think when we made the changes I think it helped us to get back into the game in the late in the second half and it led to scoring two goals and winning the game.” — Tommy McNamara on The Revolution Postgame Show

WHAT’S ON TAP

The Revolution will be in action on Wednesday as they host the New York Red Bulls at Gillette Stadium, with the kickoff time set for 7 p.m. NOTE: We will have somewhat delayed coverage of the match as the MIAA Tournament is underway and due to start times and travel from Northern Worcester County, we won’t be able to devote our attentions to the first half.

Enjoy your Father’s Day tomorrow, everyone.