FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – The first 21 minutes – a significant number on this particular night given the return of former captain Shalrie Joseph – provided the New England Revolution with plenty of hope that their eight-match winless streak would not turn to nine.
Three goals without reply will do that for a team, even one struggling so noticeably over the past two months.
And then Joseph pulled a goal back in the 23rd minute, heading home from a corner kick. He got another just before the half, setting the wheels in motion for a 3-3 draw likely to leave Revolution coach Jay Heaps searching for answers when he sits down and watches the tape.
HIGHLIGHTS: NE vs CHV
“They pulled one back on a set piece, one that we wish we could have back,” Heaps told MLSsoccer.com after the match. “You give a team life. Credit their team. They fought hard. But, in the end, we have just have to better on the set piece and we have to be better in game management two minutes before the half and two minutes at the start of the half.”
For Heaps and his players, this night offered just the latest chapter in a long-running series of frustrating tales. Too many of the same issues appeared once again as defensive instability, mental errors and poor work in possession (42.8 percent of possession, 68.3 percent passing accuracy, per statistics compiled by Opta) undermined a promising start to the match.
No sequence quite summed up the ongoing concerns like the equalizer that arrived two minutes after halftime. All of the Revs' usual vulnerabilities – coping with throw-ins, dealing with crosses and tracking runners through the middle – cropped up in Miller Bolaños' tying goal to leave Heaps displeased about how it unfolded.
“I have to go back and look at it again on tape,” Heaps said. “I would lean toward being extremely upset. I’m sure after I watch it, I’ll be beyond extremely upset. It’s just stuff we work on.”
The work will undoubtedly continue this week as the Revs try to address those issues yet again notch their first win since July 8 against Philadelphia on Saturday at Gillette Stadium.