Both the New England Revolution and Sporting Kansas City left Gillette Stadium with the same result, but each took wildly different paths to arrive at a scoreless draw after 90 minutes. And while neither team got the result they expected, the flow of play left one team happy with that result while the other will rue opportunities lost.
Sporting traveled to Massachusetts knowing that the full three points were necessary to keep pace behind the Montreal Impact in the playoff hunt. So consistent during the 2012 regular season, the defending Supporters Shield winners fell further behind as their offense — lacking forward Graham Zusi to U.S. men’s national team duty and still apparently suffering the aftereffects of Kei Kamara’s offseason loan to Norwich City of the EPL — generated plenty of chances but failed to convert a single one.
New England were helped by the Herculean goalkeeping of Matt Reis. Riding the pine last weekend as Revs head coach Jay Heaps decided to give Bobby Shuttleworth a start in goal, Reis returned this weekend after New England’s loss to Philadelphia and provided stop after stop against Sporting’s attack. The Kansas City forwards were thwarted time and time again by the 37-year-old stopper as he continually sacrificed his body.
Meanwhile Reis’ opposite for Sporting, Jimmy Nielsen, was forced to suppress yawns all night long. The Revolution would muster just three attempted shots through the entire match; none were on target enough to force Nielsen into action.
As one keeper sweated through kicks and bumps and shot after shot, the other watched detachedly from afar. Both would leave Gillette Stadium with a clean sheet, but one man worked far harder for the honors. And while his efforts saved a point for his largely overmatched teammates, Sporting had two stolen away by Reis on Saturday.
SPORTING KANSAS CITY @ NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION
March 23, 2013
- NE (4-4-1-1): Matt Reis; Kevin Alston, Jose Goncalves, A.J. Soares, Andrew Farrell; Lee Nguyen, Scott Campbell, Clyde Simms, Kelyn Rowe; Juan Carlos Toja; Chad Barrett (Ryan Guy/64′)
- SKC (4-3-3): Jimmy Nielsen; Seth Sinovic, Ike Opara, Aurelien Collin, Mechack Jerome; Benny Feilhaber, Oriol Rosell, Paolo Nagamura; Soony Saad (Peterson Joseph/63′), Claudio Bieler, C.J. Sapong