For the first 25 minutes or so of Saturday night's wild 4-3 defeat at Columbus, the New England Revolution thought they had finally figured out a way to end their recent run of poor form.
A break here and a couple of early goals by Ryan Guy and Jerry Bengtson there sent the Revs to a 2-0 lead at Crew Stadium and set them on the path toward three points.
And then all of those familiar concerns – the crippling errors and the untimely lapses to prompt goals by the opposition – rose to the fore and swept away most of the positives generated by that positive opening period.
HIGHLIGHTS: CLB 4, NE 3
FULL LINEUPS AND BOX SCORE
“It was some of our best stuff and some of our worst stuff all wrapped into a first half and a game,” Revolution coach Jay Heaps told reporters after the game. “Just looking at the stats, you give up three shots on goal and they all go in in the first half. You kind of scratch your head little, but tip of the hat [to the Crew], those free kicks were world class.”
Federico Higuain curled home twice from set pieces and Jairo Arrieta surged past the Revolution back four to score his two goals on the evening, but the Revs' contributory role on all four tallies left them once again to lament their tendency to aid the opponent in the final third.
“I think we had a few slices of luck and the game was going our way a bit,” Revolution defender Chris Tierney said. “Then the two [Higuaín] class free kicks, the second of which I don’t think was a foul, but that is unlucky. You have to tip your hat to two class goals like that. We had a good feeling going into the game, we did a lot of good things but some mistakes hurt us and unfortunately we couldn’t get it done.”
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The inability to turn the positives in their performance and the strokes of luck they received into a result left the Revs searching for answers after five straight defeats. Losses that have left Heaps and his charges two points out of last place in the Eastern Conference.
“Unfortunately it’s something that we’re used to at this point,” Guy said. “It’s a rut that we need to get out of. I think we showed a lot of good things tonight, but we also showed a lot of disappointing things. I think that there are things that are happening over and over that we need to change. As a squad, we need to concentrate on the positives.”