Dorman, Rowe lead Revolution in 2-1 win over KC
Andy Dorman and Kelyn Rowe scored in the second half to lead the
New England Revolution to a 2-1 victory over Sporting Kansas City
in the first leg of their Eastern Conference semifinals series on
Dorman put the Revolution on the scoreboard in the 55th minute,
while Rowe made it 2-0 in the 67th.
Aurelien Collin pulled Sporting within one in the 69th.
”I thought it was a hard-fought battle between two teams
fighting for everything,” Revolution coach Jay Heaps said. ”It
certainly wasn’t a pretty game, but (rather) two teams pushing hard
and two teams trying to get ahead in the playoffs.”
The Revolution, appearing in the postseason for the first time
since 2009, entered the match with a 501-minute regular season goal
drought against Sporting Kansas City, a streak that reaches back to
the 2011 season.
The Revolution spent much of the first half trying to find their
rhythm and ending the streak.
”We played with a lot of discipline, and we were very well
organized,” Sporting goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen said. ”We forced
their back four to play the long balls up to the striker, our
center backs won the ball, and our midfielders were good on the
The Revolution had to survive an early scare before they were
able to step on the gas. In the 18th minute, Graham Zusi’s corner
kick found Chance Myers, who headed the ball toward the goal before
Lee Nguyen cleared it off the line.
”Some games, we put two players on the post and sometimes, we
put one player on the post,” Heaps said. ”But tonight, we made
the right call and put two players on the post.”
After a first half filled with erratic play from both teams, the
Revolution were able to break through early in the second half.
Diego Fagundez blasted a shot that was initially saved by Nielsen
before the rebound fell to Juan Agudelo. The Revolution striker was
able to direct on frame and Dorman tapped it through.
Rowe made it a two-goal advantage 12 minutes later when Nguyen
slid it toward him and his touch redirected it into the back of the
Sporting struck back two minutes later. Amid a chaotic fight for
the ball inside the Revolution box, Collin was able to steer C.J.
Sapong’s ball into the net.
”I think we showed how strong this team is to come back, and
that goal gave us a good life line,” Nielsen said.
The clubs will play the second leg of the series on Wednesday at
Sporting Park in Kansas City, Kan. The team with the most aggregate
goals in the two matches will advance to the conference finals
against the winner of the New York-Houston matchup.