October 6, 2012
ANOTHER ONE BITES THE DUST
Revs continue slouch toward season’s end with 1-0 loss to Union
CHESTER, Pa.—Jerry Bengtson clanged a sitter off the left post in the 29th minute and it was downhill from there as the New England Revolution fell 1-0 to the Philadelphia Union Saturday night at PPL Park.
|As if the injury-riddled Revs weren’t shorthanded enough already, Benny Feilhaber picked up a pair of late yellow cards in Saturday’s 1-0 loss to Philadelphia and will be suspended when the team returns to action on Oct. 20.
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
Jack McInerney delivered the game to the Union in the 73rd minute, heading his seventh goal of the season inside the far post off a driving Keon Daniel free kick in the 73rd minute after Michael Farfan drew a foul inside the right corner.
The Union remain undefeated in seven encounters spanning three seasons with the Revolution, who have now lost thirteen times on the road in 2012, their only victory coming against the Galaxy in LA back in March.
Although both teams have been eliminated from the playoffs, Philadelphia (10-15-6, 36 points) is finishing its campaign strongly, taking three victories in its last four outings, while New England (7-17-8, 29 points) is limping to the finish line both literally and figuratively, with just one win in its last fifteen tries and its trauma ward list lengthening.
The Union were on the front foot through the opening half-hour as New England had difficulty sustaining possession.
The makeshift Revolution back line scrambled repeatedly to clear balls and rescue shaky goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth, who was making his third consecutive start in the New England net.
Despite chances in both directions, neither side could break through in the opening frame.
McInerney, active as the lone striker in John Hackworth’s 4-5-1, squandered an early opportunity for the home side, taking an 11th minute pass from Brian Carroll with space and time on the right to line up a shot but rolling his attempt outside Shuttleworth’s right post.
Jerry Bengtson returned the favor against the run of play in the 29th minute, capturing a loose ball just inside the 18-yard box and outmaneuvering Philadelphia ‘keeper Zac MacMath to the left but sending his open shot off the post.
In the 70th minute, second-half substitutes Fernando Cardenas and Juan Toja worked a Colombian give-and-go that launched Cardenas free on goal, but the crafty sparkplug delayed pulling the trigger and the Union defense was able to recover.
Three minutes later, the home side took the lead. Daniel delivered a potent free kick from just inside the right corner that McInerney was able to head inside the far post as Ryan Guy missed his mark and Shuttleworth fanned on a futile attempt to pick off the ball.
Guy nearly equalized in the 85th minute, redirecting a Toja free kick with a glancing header that MacMath was just able to smother on the goal line.
Benny Feilhaber ended any hope of the Revolution drawing even, collecting two yellow cards in the final five minutes to give Philadelphia a man advantage as they closed out the match.
With injuries to Flo Lechner, Stephen McCarthy and Chris Tierney, Jay Heaps had to improvise his back line.
Darrius Barnes returned to central defense and the versatile Guy, back from international action with Guam, got the nod at right back, his first start as a defender after 17 starts across the midfield and at forward.
A.J. Soares departed at the hour mark with an apparent leg injury, further crippling the New England defense, and was replaced by Cardenas.
Rookie Alec Purdie made his first MLS start after four appearances as a late substitute, beginning on the left side of the midfield where he had little impact, then dropping back to right back after Soares left the match with Guy moving over to center back.
Clyde Simms, slowed during the week with a calf strain, was fit to return to his deep-lying holding position and wear the armband, while Feilhaber directed the attack at the point of the midfield.
Diego Fagundez, recently named to the Uruguay U20 squad, made his sixth start of 2012, pairing with Bengtson at the top of the Revolution 4-4-2 before giving way to Toja in the 64th minute.