Somehow, it was a scoreless first half for the Revs, who got off 21 shots to FCC's five, securing all nine first-half corner kicks, and dominating possession at a 61.5-38.5 ratio, but not quite able to find the back of the net.
Carles Gil created eight chances on his own in the first half to lead a dynamic Revs attack that seemed sure to produce at least one goal. But Kenneth Vermeer got both up and down on some spectacular saves in the first half, notably denying Brandon Bye with a stoppage-time stab in mid-air to preserve the shutout. Allan Cruz even got into the goal-saving spirit for FCC, heading a potential goal off the line in a defensive stand epitomizing the team's bend-but-don't-break opening half.
On the other end, Matt Turner got in a couple of saves, as Jurgen Locadia was looking to get on the board for the second match in a row amid a lively few moments in front of goal for Cincinnati midway through the half.
The second half continued themes from the first, with the Revs continuing to dominate possession, get all the corners, and build their shot advantage. With 20 minutes to go in regulation, the breakthrough finally arrived. Gil was the predictable creator on a free-kick opportunity just outside the box near the end line. He set up and swung in a pass, which Buksa was able to head in past Vermeer.
Brenner nearly equalized in the 78th minute, taking a shot at goal from distance, but skimming it just over the bar. FCC kept coming to try for the equalizer, with Brandon Vazquez forcing Turner into an excellent save, starting the first of a flurry of three FCC corners in rapid succession, which all went for naught. Locadia also had a prime chance on an 88th-minute Route 1 ball, but his first touch on the long pass spun the ball right into Turner's path. FCC also got a last-gasp corner kick, but Geoff Cameron headed the incoming ball well off target right before the final whistle.
While New England didn't do much offensively in the final portion of the match, they did all they needed to even before the match got into stoppage time, and saw the contest out.
- 70' — NE — Adam Buksa | WATCH
- THE BIG PICTURE: The Revs improve to 5-1-2 on the season, best in the East and just below the Sounders in the Supporters’ Shield race. They’ll head into the break where they want to be results-wise, though they might be concerned that they only went 1-for-26 in shots. In the post-match press conference, head coach Jaap Stam expressed that the team needs to work on everything. On the bright side, after six games played, they’re still above Chicago in PPG. But they’ve now got a long stretch to reflect on being at the bottom of the East.
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: The goal was definitely the moment of the match, though Cincinnati had a few thwarted opportunities for creating a very different outcome.
- MAN OF THE MATCH: Carles Gil was outstanding throughout, but especially throughout the first half and the moment that really counted most.