July 30, the New England Revolution tied Sporting Kansas City 1-1 at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park for a crowd of 17,418. New England (4-9-9, 21 pts, -10) remain seventh in the eastern Conference and Sporting KC (6-6-9, 27 pts, +1) stand fourth.
Sporting proved to be a powerful attacking side, forcing the Revolution to play put nine men behind the ball for almost the entire second half to retain their one goal lead, lost in the 89th minute.
How the game played out
Rajko Lekic was more involved in play instead of hanging about by himself near the box applauding errant passes and the Dane showed some of the skill which has generously been attributed to him. In the 38th minute, he pounced upon a bouncing long ball by Matt Reis and slashed it into the back of the net, putting New England up 1-0 for his fourth goal of the season.
The Revolution defended most of the second half, allowing Sporting to attempt 17 shots while only managing two themselves. That kind of play deserves disrespect and referee Terry Vaughn obliged, ejecting rookie defender A.J. Soares for denying an obvious goal-scoring opportunity.
Sporting coach Peter Vermes’ late attacking substitutions paid off with Teal Bunbury providing the equalizer in the 89th minute to extend his team’s unbeaten streak to 13 games, a club record. Although the home team obviously had difficulty finishing, they excelled at creating goal-scoring opportunities despite New England packing their back third. Left back Seth Sinovic repeatedly launched attacks on his former team, demonstrating offensive skills that were rarely exploited in New England.
Rookie Revolution midfielder Stephen McCarthy, who has played a key role in pinning together the struggling team, was injured in a tackle and subbed out in the 34th minute.
New England next host Chivas USA on August 6 at Gillette Stadium, kicking off at 7:30 p.m. ET.
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New England Revolution at Sporting Kansas City
July 30, 2011 – LIVESTRONG Sporting Park
New England Revolution 1, Sporting Kansas City 1
NE – Rajko Lekic (Matt Reis) 38
SKC – Teal Bunbury (unassisted) 89
New England Revolution: Matt Reis, Darrius Barnes, A.J. Soares, Franco Coria, Kevin Alston (Ryan Guy 78), Stephen McCarthy (Kenny Mansally 34), Shalrie Joseph ©, Pat Phelan, Benny Feilhaber, Rajko Lekic, Zack Schilawski (Sainey Nyassi 72)
Substitutes Not Used: Bobby Shuttleworth, Diego Fagundez, Zak Boggs, Ryan Cochrane
STATS*: Shots: 8; Shots on Goal: 4; Saves: 3; Corner Kicks: 4; Offside: 1; Fouls Committed: 11
Sporting Kansas City: Jimmy Nielsen, Seth Sinovic (Birahim Diop 88), Matt Besler, Daneil Cyrus (Teal Bunbury 80), Chance Myers, Graham Zusi, Roger Espinoza, Jeferson, Julio Cesar (Omar Bravo 56), Kei Kamara, C.J. Sapong
Substitutes Not Used: Eric Kronberg, Michael Harrington, Soony Saad, Milos Stojcev
STATS*: Shots: 21; Shots on Goal: 4; Saves: 3; Corner Kicks: 6; Offside: 0; Fouls Committed: 11
NE – Kenny Mansally (caution) 50
SKC – Daneil Cyrus (caution) 67
NE – Franco Coria (caution) 75
NE – A.J. Soares (ejection) 82
New England Revolution – 4-9-9, 21 pts.
Sporting Kansas City – 6-6-9, 27 pts
Referee: Terry Vaughn
Assistant Referees: Fabio Tovar, Ian Anderson
Fourth Official: Juan Guzman
Weather: Sunny and 90 degrees