By Kevin Koczwara
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — The New England Revolution stopped its two-game losing streak with a 3-2 win over Sporting Kansas City. A late goal from Rajko Lekic sealed the win for the Revolution after Kansas City (1-3-1, 4 pts) went down to 10 men in the 76th minute when Aurelian Collin was sent off with a straight red card.
New England ( 2-2-3, 9 pts) took an early lead in the 12th minute when Marko Perovic scored from outside the 18-yard-box with well placed shot. The Revs’s latest signing Benny Feilhaber laid off a pass to the Serbian forward in traffic. Perovic beat KC goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen, who had no chance of stopping the shot.
The pass from Feilhaber to find Perovic took the kind of skill the Revolution knew it Was getting when the team signed him this week. The American International avoided traffic at the edge of the box and poked a smooth pass to Perovic.
“I was joining the attack a lot in the first half and I had the opportunity to get close to the box on that one,” said Feilhaber. “The rebound came right to me, I took a touch it [the ball] didn’t set up for me to shoot and the defender took a step towards me and I saw Marko [Perovic] sitting at the top of the box, and I slipped it to him and he banged it in.”
Sporting didn’t waste any time in responding. Kei Kamara found space at the edge of the Revolution 18 and drove a low-shot to the near post, beating a diving Matt Reis, who should have done better with the save. The goal for Kamara was seat up by a Teal Bunbury pass in the 14th minute.
Bunbury and Kamara would combine again in their efforts in the second half for Sporting for the team’s second goal.
In the 69th minute Kamara scored his second goal of the game after Bunbury earned Sporting a penalty. Bunbury tried to get the touchline and Revolution defender Kevin Alston made a sliding challenge and seemingly won the ball, but referee Edvin Jurisevic deemed the challenge reckless and awarded Kansas City a penalty. Kamara finished the penalty with ease, giving Kanasas City a 2-1 lead.
The lead would last just three minutes for Sporting. Kenny Mansally set up over a free kick from the right side and drilled the free kick towards the back post where Shalrie Joseph awaited. The Revs’s captain headed home the chance with ease, sending back across the net.
“The timing of the goal was huge for us, just as the timing for the first goal was huge for them,” said Revolution manager Steve Nicol about the Revs second goal. “Having gone one up we felt as though we could then go on and dominate, but to lose a goal so quickly took the wind out of our sails and the crowd. Then the other one picked us up again.”
The game turned a final time when Aurelian Collin was sent off in the 78th minute for pushing Feilhaber. Collin’s confrontation with Feilhaber came after the big center back collided with Reis on a corner kick and knocked the keeper to the ground. The Revolution players took offense to the challenge on their keeper and a pushing match ensued. Collin was the player sent off for pushing Feilhaber, but it appeared that Kansas City midfielder Birahim Diop actually instigated the action.
New England took advantage of the extra man 5-minutes later when Zak Boggs got in an early cross and found Lekic in the box working hard to get on the other end of it. The goal sealed the win for New England and opened the striker’s scoring account with the Revolution in just his second appearance.
Next up for the Revs is a trip to Maryland to play D.C. United in a U.S. Open Cup play-in game on Tuesday night. The Revolution then travel to to play Chivas USA on Saturday, April 30 for its next MLS game.
- There were 8 yellow cards and 1 red card issued out by referee Edvin Jurisevic.
- Lekic scored his first goal since signing with the Revolution.
- Benny Feilhaber played a full 90 minutes after signing with the Revolution on Wednesday. He practiced once with the team this week.
- Marko Perovic was substituted off in the 60th minute with a left-knee sprain.
- Attendance at Gillette Stadium was 11,414.
Kevin Koczwara can be reached at Kevin.Koczwara@thesoccerguysonline.com.