Every apparent sign for New England pointed to a road draw as Thursday night's match at FC Dallas ticked into the final seconds.
An improved second-half performance allowed the Revolution to retain more possession and test Kevin Hartman on a couple of occasions. The defense mostly held firm against the speedy threats posed by Fabián Castillo and Brek Shea, while goalkeeper Matt Reis repelled any salvos toward his goal.
HIGHLIGHTS: FC Dallas 1, New England 0
Those efforts should have secured a point and stretched the Revs' unbeaten run to three matches, but disaster struck right before the final whistle to erase all of that hard work, sending New England to a 1-0 defeat.
“I thought our second half was very good up until that last moment,” Revolution coach Jay Heaps told CSNNE.com/Revs Wrap after the match.
A sequence of events preceded that calamitous Ugo Ihemelu header and condemned the Revs to their third defeat of the season in excruciating fashion.
The problems started when captain Shalrie Joseph opted to play a long ball up field instead of kicking the ball out of bounds to allow A.J. Soares to receive treatment after a collision. FCD quickly moved play from back to front and Soares – by this time, up on his feet – fouled Blas Pérez as they contested the service. Ihemelu popped up at the back stick to head home the resulting set piece with essentially the last kick of the ball to send the Revs sliding to an unexpected defeat.
“It's very frustrating,” Soares told CSNNE.com/Revs Wrap. “We thought we did well. We thought we did what we had to do to get the point here. It was just one of those things where we didn't close it out and they took advantage of it.”
While the defeat will sting on the flight home, Soares says the Revs can at least take some solace from their performance at FC Dallas Stadium as they attempt to shrug off their disappointment ahead of their next game, an April 14 visit by D.C. United.
“Credit to them,” he said of FCD, “but it's one of those things where, if we put in that performance [every game], we're going to win a lot of games.”