FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Second-half substitutes Jack McInerney and Justin Mapp scored late goals and the Philadelphia Union grabbed a dramatic 2-1 win over the shorthanded New England Revolution on Saturday night at Gillette Stadium.
Serbian forward Ilija Stolica scored his second goal of the season in the 31st minute to give the Revs (6-12-3, 21 pts.) a halftime lead, but the hosts also entered the break a man down following the 40th-minute ejection of defender Cory Gibbs. The Revolution limited the Union (5-11-5, 20 pts.) to just one shot on target in the first 80 minutes, but McInerney tied the score in the 82nd minute before Mapp won it with an 18-yard drive in the second minute of stoppage time. Philadelphia finished the game with just three shots on target.
The loss was the Revolution’s first at Gillette Stadium since a 1-0 setback to the Chicago Fire on June 27, but it was the club’s third defeat on the bounce after dropping a pair of road games in Chicago and Kansas City last week. Philadelphia, meanwhile, snapped a six-game (0-3-3) winless streak with the victory, just the Union’s second of the season away from home.
After experimenting with a 3-5-2 formation in last weekend’s 4-1 loss to the Wizards, head coach Steve Nicol opted for a return to the customary 4-4-2 setup against the Union. Defender Kevin Alston was unavailable because of a lingering left hamstring strain, opening the door for rookie Seth Sinovic to make his first start since July 10. Darrius Barnes and Gibbs anchored the four-man backline in the middle, flanked by Sinovic on the left and Emmanuel Osei on the right.
Backstopping the Revolution defense was second-year goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth, who made just his second career league start in place of the injured Matt Reis (lower back pain).
The Revs looked to attack down the wings from the opening whistle and found success through Sainey Nyassi and Chris Tierney, but it was Marko Perovic who broke free down the right side to set up the game’s first quality chance in the 24th minute. Perovic was played through by Tierney and took the space provided down the right wing before curling in a cross for Stolica, but the service was a bit high.
Stolica did get the chance to put his name on the scoresheet seven minutes later, however, capitalizing on a failed clearance inside the box to open the scoring in the 31st minute. The play began when Perovic’s corner kick found Joseph at the back post, but the Revolution captain couldn’t control and Danny Califf had the chance to clear. The clearance attempt struck Joseph and fell to Stolica, who used his first touch to sweep home a left-footed shot from close range.
Nyassi had two chances to extend the Revolution’s lead in the 36th minute, but his first effort rocketed off the left post from 25 yards and his second attempt – a header from a Tierney cross – flew just over the bar.
The home side was firmly in control for the majority of the first half but the game took a turn in the 40th minute when Gibbs was shown a straight red card for a challenge on Eduardo Coudet, reducing the Revs to 10 men.
Nicol responded to the numerical disadvantage by replacing Stolica with Khano Smith shortly after halftime. The Revs moved to a 4-4-1 formation with Tierney at right back, Smith on the left wing and Perovic playing as a lone forward.
Shuttleworth was finally forced into his first save of the night in the 64th minute, pushing away Le Toux’s tight-angle drive. Two minutes later, Mapp set up Andrew Jacobson for a free shot from 12 yards, but the Union midfielder skied his effort over the bar.
Despite playing with 10 men, the Revs largely limited Philadelphia’s chances until the equalizing goal arrived in the 82nd minute. Mapp engineered the play with a clever chip over the top of the Revs backline, right into the path of McInerney as he cut across the box. The rookie made no mistake with his first-time effort, driving a shot inside the near post to register his second career goal.
It looked as if the teams would share the points as they entered stoppage time level at 1-1, but Mapp scored his first goal since joining the Union in July to claim maximum points for the visitors. Le Toux’s initial effort was denied by Tierney, but the Frenchman recovered and laid a short pass back into the path of Mapp, who guided a shot inside the right post with one of the last kicks of the game.
The Revs will have a chance to lift the SuperLiga trophy for the second time in three years when they host Mexico’s Monarcas Morelia in the SuperLiga 2010 final on Wednesday, Sept. 1, at Gillette Stadium. They’ll return to league action the following weekend on Saturday, Sept. 4, against Seattle Sounders FC.
New England Revolution (6-12-3, 21pts.) vs. Philadelphia Union (5-11-5 20 pts.)
August 28, 2010 – Gillette Stadium (Foxborough, Mass.)
NE – Ilija Stolica (Shalrie Joseph) 31
PHI – Jack McInerny (Justin Mapp, Jordan Harvey) 82
PHI – Justin Mapp (Sebastien Le Toux) 92+
NE – Emmanuel Osei (caution) 19
PHI – Stefani Miglioranzi (caution) 29
NE – Cory Gibbs (ejection) 40
PHI – Jack McInerny (caution) 83
PHI – Jordan Harvey (caution) 84
Referee: Hilario Grajeda
Referee’s Assistants: Greg Barkey, Daniel Belleau
Fourth Official: Chris Penso
Weather: Clear and 75 degrees
The Revolution lost its first-ever game to Philadelphia Union, dropping its record to 0-1-1 after two matches in what was Union’s first trip to Gillette Stadium.
Matt Reis sat out Saturday night’s match with lower back pain … Reis missed his first game due to injury since he made his season debut on June 27 after offseason shoulder and knee surgeries.
Bobby Shuttleworth stepped in between the pipes for the injured Reis, making his third career MLS appearance and his second start … Shuttleworth made his first start on June 5 in Seattle.
With the loss, Bobby Shuttleworth’s record dropped to 1-2-0
Seth Sinovic made his first start since July 10 at home against LA … Sinovic got the nod in place of Kevin Alston, who sat out with a left hamstring strain.
Kheli Dube was available for his first league action since July 10 against LA due to a right MCL sprain, although he did not make it into the game.
Ilija Stolica scored his second goal in a Revolution uniform – his first since the 1-0 win over the Houston Dynamo on Aug. 14.
Shalrie Joseph assisted on Ilija Stlolica’s goal – his fourth of 2010 and first since the double he recorded against New York on May 29.
The Revs have now found the back of the net in six straight MLS matches, their longest such streak since an eight game stretch last year, from July 19 to Sept 5.
Cory Gibbs was shown a straight red card in the 41st minute and New England played a man down for the rest of the match … by rule, Gibbs is suspended for the club’s next match – at home against Seattle on Sept. 4.
The red card was the fourth time this year a Revolution player was ejected from a match … Kheli Dube and Joseph Niouky each received one on May 1 against Dallas, and Marko Perovi? was show a straight red on May 5 against Chivas USA.
The Revolution shifted into a 4-4-1 following Gibbs’ ejection … Chris Tierney dropped into right back, Emmanuel Osei shifted into the middle of the back line and Marko Perovi? moved to left midfield.
Khano Smith came on for Ilija Stolica in the 54th minute … Smith played left midfield, while Marko Perovi? shifted up to the lone forward spot.
New England lost its second game this year when conceding the game-winning goal in second-half stoppage time … the other loss came on May 8 at Columbus when the Crew scored the go-ahead goal in the first minute of second-half stoppage time.
The Revs lost their first game of the season when leading at the 75th minute … the club is now 4-1-0 when leading at the 75-minute mark.
The Revolution’s record dropped to 5-3-1 when scoring first … the club also lost at Columbus (May 8) and at Chicago (Aug. 18) after taking a 1-0 lead.