New England laid the foundation for their third draw in four trips to Colorado by securing a much-needed 1-0 victory at D.C. United on Wednesday.
By clinching a first road win of the season at RFK Stadium and snapping a nine-match winless streak, the Revs obtained the surge of confidence required to collect a fourth point in four days by posting a 2-2 draw against the Rapids on Saturday night.
WATCH: Full Match Highlights
“You could just tell, even after the DC game, that it just works wonders for this team,” Revolution defender Darrius Barnes told Revs Wrap/CSNNE.com after the match. “You get some confidence and it takes the pressure off our backs. After we got the win in DC, the spirit was a little bit more lively coming here to Colorado. I feel like we carried that into this game.”
Another bright start helped the Revs settle into the contest as Benny Feilhaber marked his return to the lineup after a one-match ban with his first MLS goal. Feilhaber capped the perfect long-throw sequence — chuck, flick and finish — with a neat run and a potent header at the back post give the Revolution the lead after 25 minutes.
The advantage held until after the break when Colorado finally took advantage of their ample amount of possession and replied twice to seemingly salt away all three points.
Caleb Folan equalized from the penalty spot in the 65th minute after Chris Tierney saw red for his tackle on Sanna Nyassi that denied a goalscoring opportunity inside the Revolution goal area. Seventeen minutes later, Kosuke Kimura managed to one-hop New England goalkeeper Matt Reis with a high, hopeful ball from inside his own half to take the 2-1 lead.
Second-half substitute Kenny Mansally rescued a point for the Revs with his clever run on the brink of stoppage time. Mansally pestered the Rapids' defenders upon his arrival with a quarter of an hour to play, and ultimately tempted Scott Palguta into fouling him inside the Colorado penalty area to give the Revolution their chance at a last-gasp equalizer.
“He did a great job,” Nicol told Revs Wrap/CSNNE.com after the match. “He obviously had fresh legs. Rajko [Lekic] did a good shift going up there on his own most of the time, but Kenny gave us a bit of a spark. He put them under a little bit of pressure, he got free kicks and, ultimately, he got the penalty.”
Revolution captain Shalrie Joseph coolly dispatched the penalty for his team-leading sixth goal of the season to capture a point befitting the side's ardent and composed defensive efforts on the evening.
“I feel like we showed our resiliency in this game to fight back, get a goal in the last minutes and come away with a point,” Barnes said.
The last-gasp draw capped a potentially vital four-day stretch for the previously downtrodden Revs. Nicol praised his players for their application on the night and their commitment to the cause this week as they moved to within four points of a playoff berth ahead of next weekend's trip to Sporting Kansas City.
“We'll have a couple of days off, but we're absolutely pleased with four points from these two games and the way the players have gone about it,” Nicol said. “They've been disciplined and, when it's mattered most, they've shown they've got the heart for the fight.”