A late header from recent signing Rajko Lekic gave New England a dramatic win over 10-man Kansas City
New England came out with an offensive minded lineup on Saturday evening against Sporting KC.
The Revolution opened the scoring in the 12th minute. Forward Rajko Lekic worked to pass the ball to newly acquired midfielder Benny Feilhaber at the top of the Sporting KC box. Feilhaber faked a shot on net and made an observant pass outside the 18 to a waiting Marko Perovic. Perovic quickly took a shot with his left foot and beat KC goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen.
Sporting KC was quick to answer with a goal. Forward Forward Teal Bunbury received a ball outside the New England box and quickly slotted the ball over to midfielder Kei Kamara. Kamara then took a near post shot which easily beat New England goalkeeper Matt Reis.
Matt Reis redeemed his earlier mistake in the 29th minute. Sporting KC midfielder Davy Arnaud had a shot on net from about eight yards out but Reis stretched and made the save.
New England had the last chance of the half when Marko Perovic made a great cross over the 18 which landed at Shalrie Joesphs feet. Joesph fumbled the ball on his feet and failed to get a chance on net.
New England started the half by creating opportunities, as Feilhaber slotted a ball over the Sporting KC back four onto Lekic in the box. However, Lekic took one too many touches and could not get a shot on net.
Revoultion goal scorer Marko Perovic planted his foot badly in the turf in the 58th minute and had to be replaced by Kenny Mansally. The Revolution medical staff described it as a left knee sprain.
Sporting KC were given a penalty from referee Edvin Jurisevic in the 68th minute. Kei Kamara took the spot kick and placed the ball in the corner of the net for his second goal of the game.
This time the Revolution answered quickly on a set piece. Midfielder Kenny Mansally took a free kick from the right side of the field and delivered it straight to Sharlie Joseph, who headed the ball over Sporting 'keeper Nielsen to tie the game 2-2.
“The timing of the goal was huge for us. Just as the timing when we lost the first goal was huge for them,” said New England Head Coach Steve Nicol of his team's response to the second Sporting KC goal.
Things began to fall apart for Sporting KC when Defender Aurelian Collin earned a straight red card for a physical foul after the whistle in the 75th minute.
New England capitalized on their man advantage in the 83rd minute when Shalrie Joesph found midfielder Zak Boggs on the outside. Boggs used space and delivered a great cross to Rajko Lekic who headed the ball across his body and into the back of the net.
Sporting KC defender Roger Espinoza gave New England a scare in the 90th minute as his strike across the mouth of the goal was met by a Matt Reis save. Espinoza’s shot was Sporting KC’s last effort as New England held on for a 3-2 win.
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