Once again New England’s attack struggled to create chances then in the second minute of stoppage time, a Diego Fagundez cross was turned in by Teal Bunbury for his first goal in a Revs uniform.
Then minutes later Fagundez saw his goalbound header blocked by the hand of Sporting midfielder Oriol Rosell and Lee Nguyen buried the penalty shot, his second in as many weeks. Why Rosell was not given a straight red for a deliberate red card, was only one of several curious refereeing decisions by Alan Kelly.
It was Kelly who changed the game in the 74th minute when he gave a straight red to SKC defender Aurélien Collin for a hard tackle on Diego Fagundez. It was a tackle that deserved a yellow, but was never a red.
Since a horrible defeat to DC United at the beginning of the month, New England is undefeated in its last three games, picking up seven points from a possible nine. That streak has moved the Revs into fourth place in the East, one point back of leaders Columbus.
Pointedly, New England has scored the fewest number of goals of any team in a playoff position. The trifecta of Bunbury, Saer Sene or Jerry Bengtson is not the answer and New England will struggle to stay in the playoff race unless they find goals from somewhere.
Another reason for the lack of goals is that last season’s top scorer Fagundez has yet to open his account this season while second top scorer Kelyn Rowe has missed most of the season through injury.
Jay Heaps has to find a way to generate more offense or this is going to turn into a long season for Revs fans.