A Shalrie Joesph penalty kick guided New England to a win in its match against Vancouver on Saturday night.The New England Revolution gritted out a victory Saturday night over the Vancouver Whitecaps. Offensively the Revolution did not do much to change from previous matches this season but the job still got done.
“We’re playing at home and it’s always the three points that’s important," said midfielder Benny Feilhaber after the match. "Obviously we got it in a scrappy way, but we got it.”
One part of the game that has been solid all season for the Revolution has been defensive play. New England, led by goalkeeper Matt Reis earned, its second consecutive shutout against the Whitecaps.
“All around, we played a good defensive game in both games," Feilhaber said. "Everyone’s been saying it’s our first two shutouts of the year and they came back-to-back, which I think is important.”
However when looking past the result it is clear there is much work to be done by New England head coach Steve Nicol. Nicol’s team did not look sharp in the first half of the match on Saturday night and still had to rely on a penalty to find a goal.
“The first half, particularly, was certainly not our best as far as that was concerned,"Nicol said. "When you give the ball away, then you put yourself under pressure and we just encourage them.”
While a penalty is not something that doesn't occur during the run of play it still must be earned in the run of play. Feilhaber felt that New England may not have had a lot of scoring chances but did capitalize on the few that occurred.
“We created not too many chances, but we took advantage of one today, and that was the difference, “ said Feilhaber.’
Finishing chances is something New England needs to continue to accomplish as it has had some hard times attacking. Until New England recovers from injuries and makes moves in the transfer window it needs to find ways to score.
Amidst all of the injuries plaguing the Revolution midfield lately there was a bright spot Saturday night. Chris Tierney played well in his role of left midfielder against the Whitecaps.
Tierney almost scored on a free kick and was constantly throwing balls in the Whitecaps' box from the left flank. Tierney was crucial in all of New England’s first half chances. Look for coach Nicol to continue playing Tierney in the left midfield spot while Marko Perovic heals from injury.
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