FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Dom Dwyer entered the New England penalty area with a chance to change the complexion of the remaining 90 minutes of the Eastern Conference Semifinals between New England and Sporting Kansas City.
Dwyer did his part to overturn Sporting's 2-1 deficit on the night and in the series with a rasping near-post drive in second-half stoppage time, but Revolution goalkeeper Matt Reis produced a critical stop to ensure the home side traveled to Sporting Park in midweek with a lead to protect.
Playoff Central: Recapping NE-SKC
“It’s a huge save,” Revolution coach Jay Heaps told reporters in his post-match press conference. “It’s a long ball, bounces around and we have enough guys around it, but it seems to bounce to their guy, who makes a great move – Dom Dwyer does – great hit and Matt Reis, his reflexes are pretty amazing. I don’t think there’s been a better goalie in the league that has reflexes like that.”
Reis played a critical role in the Revolution's success on a night when it took the home side a while to find its footing in the game. The veteran goalkeeper thwarted Teal Bunbury's one-versus-one opportunity 10 minutes before the interval to keep his side on level terms before producing that fine stop right before full time to preserve the hard-earned advantage.
Revolution defender Darrius Barnes noted the importance of Reis' experience in this tie to shepherd the home side into a promising position ahead of the second leg in midweek.
“Reisy's been huge all season,” Barnes told MLSsoccer.com. “He made a huge save in the first half and then in the second half on Dom Dwyer. He's wise. He's a wise goalkeeper. I think he plays mind-games with the attackers a little bit. When you have the experience of a keeper like that and he has the talent, it makes it easy for a defender.”