The New England Revolution ran into one of the goalkeeping performances of the season on Saturday as they drew 1-1 at home to the Philadelphia Union.
Union goalkeeper Andre Blake was simply outstanding in making a Union-record 10 saves in the match. The pick of them was late on when an acrobatic volley from Juan Agudelo was brilliantly tipped over the bar by Blake to keep the score 1-1. A save of the season candidate.
New England moved one point closer to a third consecutive playoff berth, but will now need to wait at least one more week in order to officially clinch a spot in the Audi 2015 MLS Cup Playoffs.
The Revolution dominated the ball in the early stages, having 65.8 percent of the possession in the first half, but struggled to find a way past Philadelphia’s stubborn defense. New England eventually took the lead with a penalty kick in the 36th minute, after Nguyen was chopped down by Fabinho just inside the Philadelphia area. Nguyen picked himself up to take the penalty kick, finding the bottom left corner past the dive of Blake to make the score 1-0.
The Revs were even more in control in the second half, taking 14 shots and forcing second-year goalkeeper Blake into nine of his 10 saves on the night. Despite the Revs’ dominance, Philadelphia pulled themselves level in the 65th minute when Warren Creavalle found Fernando Aristeguieta inside the Revolution area, and the forward turned and fired low into Bobby Shuttleworth’s near post to tie the score at 1-1. A bad goal for Shuttleworth to give uo.
Knowing that a win would clinch a postseason berth, the Revs continued to push forward, though they were unable to reclaim their lead. Nguyen, Kelyn Rowe, Juan Agudelo, Diego Fagundez and Jermaine Jones all saw attempts saved by Blake while Shuttleworth was called upon in the 79th minute to save after substitute Sebastien Le Toux was played in behind the Revolution defense.
New England’s best chance at a late winner came just moments later, when Chris Tierney whipped in a cross from the left that Agudelo headed over Blake and against the crossbar.
That result, combined with Columbus Crew SC’s 2-1 home loss to Portland, leave the Revs and Crew SC tied for second place in the Eastern Conference with 47 points from matching 13-10-8 records.
Despite the result this was one of the best Revs performances of the season. The dominated possession (65%) and more importantly were able to turn that possession into chances (20 shots). On another night the Revs win 3 or 4 to 1.