Jay Heaps was named the team's Defender of the Year prior to Saturday night's match. (Photo by CHRIS ADUAMA/aduama.com)
I think [Chicago] came to be tight, said Revolution head coach Steve Nicol. Certainly the first 25 minutes of the game we really put them under some good pressure and just couldnt finish it off and get that goal to get us ahead. I think from 25 [minutes] on it was probably pretty even.
They were trying to break on us. They had a couple of chances on the break, but we had a couple of chances in the box where we might have done better as well. So were disappointed to [tie] the game, but the performance, you cant argue with that. We just didnt really get the break we needed to get ourselves ahead.
Just over a minute into the game, the Revs had a dangerous opportunity when Sainey Nyassi played an overlapping Kevin Alston down the right flank. Alston got to the end line and sent a cross towards the far post. The cross went over Kheli Dube, but fell right to Kenny Mansally. Mansallys header from close range was blocked by a defender.
Chicago looked dangerous in the 11th minute when a nice combination between Chris Rolfe and Brian McBride ended with Rolfe back heeling a pass to Marco Pappa about 12 yards from goal. Pappa put a shot on frame, but it was right at Revs goalkeeper Matt Reis and easily saved.
Edgaras Jankauskas, making his first start since Sept. 26, had a chance in the 14th minute. His header off a Mansally corner kick went just high of the net.
Nyassi gave Fire keeper Jon Busch his first real test of the match in the 24th minute after Jeff Larentowicz played him behind the defense with a perfect through ball. Nyassi ran into the box and hammered a shot on frame that Busch could only punch away from net.
We kept pushing and pushing and trying to create chances, said Revs captain Shalrie Joseph, named the teams MVP before the match. At the end of the night it was a disappointing result. Its good to get MVP, but if we dont make the playoffs it doesnt mean much at all. Right now my main focus is just trying to get into the playoffs and thats what I was trying to do tonight.
Larentowicz sat out last week with a right knee bone bruise, but made several key plays both offensively and defensively for the Revs.
What can you say, the guys playing on one leg, said Nicol. He played well tonight. You certainly wouldnt have known there was anything wrong with him. He had a good solid game and did some good things, but we just didnt quite have that extra to get ourselves ahead and put the ball in the net.
I was disappointed I didnt play last week, said Larentowicz. I wanted to, so I knew with an extra weeks rest, Id be rested. I wanted to use all that energy that Ive stored up to play well in tonights game.
Chris Rolfe nearly put the fire on top after beating Darius Barnes to a long pass from midfield. With Reis rushing off his line, Rolfe chipped a shot to the far post, but it went just wide of the empty net.
The Revs switched things up in the second half with Mauricio Castro entering the match for Mansally at left midfield in the 58th minute. Wells Thompson entered for Nyassi in the 80th minute and Nico Colaluca was the Revs final sub in the 85th minute for Dube.
Chicago was denied a penalty kick in the 63rd minute, after Emmanuel Osei misplayed a long ball from Jon Busch. Rolfe got to the ball in dribbled into the box, but was tripped up by Reis. Referee Jorge Gonzalez saw it differently, however, and instead of awarded a penalty kick, gave Rolfe a yellow card for diving.
Rolfe threatened in the 89th minute. After a flurry at the top of the box Rolfe managed to get off at shot. His effort, however, was right into the hands of Reis.
Were disappointed, said defender Jay Heaps, named the teams Defender of the Year before the match. We needed those points and weve put ourselves in a little bit of a bind here, but I think there are some positives to take away for sure. The energy was there. It was probably one of our better games all year. We didnt create many chances, but the guys up top and the guys in midfield worked really hard and I thought defensively we did a good job.
The Revs next travel to Columbus on Sunday, Oct. 25 to face the Crew. A win could potentially see them make the playoffs.
The key is just to keep our heads focused, said Heaps. We [need to] take the positives from tonight: we focused, we were on the same page. [We need to] keep that going. We have to attack a little bit better. We have to get pressure on them.
[Tonight] shows that if we come out and were focused on putting in a good effort and playing tough that we can take it to teams, said Larentowicz. We saw Columbus last week. Obviously its going to be a different game playing in Columbus, but we know who they are and were ready to do it again.
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