FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – The closing sequence in New England's 1-0 home defeat to Los Angeles on Saturday just about summed up the entire aggravating night.
There were plenty of chances to bundle home a stoppage-time equalizer and snatch a late draw. In the almighty scrum that enveloped the Galaxy penalty area, the Revs approached those opportunities aggressively. It took three interventions – two by Galaxy saviors AJ DeLaGarza and Landon Donovan and one by the crossbar – to keep out efforts from Zack Schilawski and Shalrie Joseph.
But, in the end, the Revs fell one vital touch short on a night where they thought they deserved far more than a 1-0 defeat.
WATCH: Full Match Highlights
“It's definitely frustrating to come away losing 1-0,” Revolution coach Steve Nicol told MLSsoccer.com after the game. “The first half, we did great. We made some chances, but we never took them.”
A goal or two in the early stages could have changed the course of the game. There were opportunities – Zak Boggs could have slid home an early goal from a Benny Feilhaber cross, while Rajko Lekic just missed connecting with a Boggs cross – to open the scoring inside the first 15 minutes, but the Revs couldn't consolidate their bright opening period by securing the lead.
“I think we started really well,” Revolution midfielder Chris Tierney said. “We had a good chance through Boggs to start the game, and I think if we had just snuck that early goal, it would have been a different story. Unfortunately, it didn't fall for us.”
While Tierney said the Revs should take heart from creating a series of chances against the top side in the league, he also noted that the progress won't necessarily blunt the disappointment of the defeat.
LA inflicted the reverse by settling into the match after the early spell and eventually converting one of their own chances after 69 minutes.
David Beckham found himself in far too much space on the right flank and curled a trademark ball toward the near post. Miguel Lopez ran across his defender and glanced his header back toward the far post to give the Galaxy the only goal required to seal a fourth consecutive victory.
“Mentally, we just fell asleep on their goal,” Revolution midfielder Shalrie Joseph said. “We know we can't give David all of that time to cross balls. He put a great ball into a great area and it was a great finish.”
New England attempted to match that production and avoid a fifth consecutive match without a goal from the run of play, but the Revs just couldn't find the decisive touch in front of goal to claw back to level terms.
It is a problem they must fix if they want to start turning these decent performances into points, according to Nicol.
“When it gets to that critical point, we're just not getting it done,” Nicol said. “Tonight, we had three great chances and we just didn't quite get it done. That sums up a lot of the stuff we do. Sometimes, we look pretty good, but we don't get it done. That's where we are at the moment.”