FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – The New England Revolution mounted a furious comeback with three unanswered goals in an 11-minute span for a 3-1 victory over the Seattle Sounders on Saturday night at Gillette Stadium. The result kept New England's playoff hopes alive while bringing Seattle's seven-match unbeaten streak to a halt.
Steve Zakuani opened the scoring for Seattle after 59 minutes by finishing off a neat move with a cool finish inside the far post. New England equalized through a Chris Tierney header in the 70th minute and grabbed the lead three minutes later after Marko Perovic slotted home. Kheli Dube sealed the points with a stunning strike nine minutes from time to hand the Revolution a deserved victory.
New England coach Steve Nicol made one change to the side that fell 2-1 to Monarcas Morelia in the SuperLiga final on Wednesday. Seth Sinovic returned at left back with Cory Gibbs ruled out through a red card suspension. Dube continued at right midfield with Sainey Nyassi still away with the Gambian national team.
Blaise Nkufo (knee) and Nathan Sturgis (ankle) missed out through injury as Seattle coach Sigi Schmid made four changes to the side that defeated Chicago 2-1 last Saturday. Roger Levesque earned a recall to partner Fredy Montero up front and Michael Seamon joined Osvaldo Alonso in central midfield. Leo Gonzalez returned from suspension to reclaim his left back spot, while Alvaro Fernandez started on the right side of midfield with Sanna Nyassi away on national team duty with Gambia.
Dube put forth an industrious display in a first half in which neither side could engineer the breakthrough despite a series of fairly bright and entertaining exchanges.
New England forward Ilija Stolica squandered the best chance of the opening stanza after just two minutes. Dube slotted the Serbian forward through into space inside the Seattle penalty area, but Seattle goalkeeper Kasey Keller cut down the angle and saved the point-blank effort.
The Revolution manufactured the majority of chances in the opening half but Seattle had two good looks at goal through Seamon. The Sounders rookie smashed Zakuani's pullback straight at Matt Reis after a quarter of an hour and sliced a one-time effort from distance over the crossbar on 28 minutes.
Seattle finally engineered the opener after 59 minutes with Zakuani providing the finishing touch. Sounders FC caught New England napping on a throw-in and exposed the hesitancy with a one-two between Fernandez and James Riley. The former Revolution fullback pulled his cross back into Zakuani's path and the second-year midfielder slotted inside the far post for his eighth goal of the season.
The tenor of the match seemingly turned after a confrontation between Patrick Ianni and Shalrie Joseph as the Revs prepared to serve in a corner kick after 62 minutes. Neither player earned a caution for the little scrap, but the incident appeared to spark the Revs and unsettle Sounders FC.
Two goals in three minutes reversed the course of the contest and staked the Revs to a deserved lead.
Tierney missed a gilt-edged chance at the back post from a long Kevin Alston throw-in but he didn't make the same mistake twice as he headed home Joseph's flick just moments later for his first career goal after another Alston throw.
Perovic handed the Revs the lead three minutes later with Tierney once again involved. The left winger played a slide rule pass for Perovic at the top of the Seattle penalty area. Perovic collected the feed and stormed into the penalty area. After Seattle's Alonso mistakenly poked the ball back toward his own goal, Perovic ran onto the ball and slotted home for his sixth goal of the campaign to complete the comeback.
Dube grabbed the goal his performance deserved nine minutes from time to secure the points. The Zimbabwean played a quick one-two with Stolica on the edge of the Seattle penalty area. Sounders FC wanted an offside call on Stolica, but the forward played the ball back to Dube, who romped through to lash home his first goal of the season and snap the Revolution's four-match losing streak in all competitions.
SEA -- Steve Zakuani 8 (James Riley 4, Alvaro Fernandez 1) 59
NE -- Chris Tierney 1 (Shalrie Joseph 5, Kevin Alston 1) 70
NE -- Marko Perovic 6 (unassisted) 73
NE -- Kheli Dube 1 (Ilija Stolica 1, Marko Perovic 1) 81
Seattle Sounders -- Kasey Keller, James Riley, Patrick Ianni, Jeff Parke, Leo Gonzalez, Mike Seamon (Michael Fucito 82), Osvaldo Alonso, Steve Zakuani, Alvaro Fernandez (Nate Jaqua 73), Roger Levesque, Fredy Montero.
New England Revolution -- Matt Reis, Kevin Alston, Darrius Barnes, Emmanuel Osei, Seth Sinovic, Shalrie Joseph, Kheli Dube, Pat Phelan, Chris Tierney, Marko Perovic, Ilija Stolica (Zack Schilawski 82).
SEA -- Fredy Montero (caution; Reckless Tackle) 66
NE -- Marko Perovic (caution; Reckless Tackle) 85
Referee: Silviu Petrescu
Referee's Assistants: Corey Rockwell, Greg Barkey
4th Official: Landis Wiley
Time of Game: 1:50
Weather: Sunny and 73 degrees