It wasn’t the way that the New England Revolution were hoping things played out, but they are grateful for the one point that they took away from Toyota Park on Saturday, with a lot of the praise directed at goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth.
With the match squared at a goal apiece in stoppage time, the Chicago Fire - down a man after Quincy Amarikwa picked up his second yellow in the 73rd minute - put forth a blistering effort in the penalty area that required Kevin Alston to make two doorstep stops. The second of those was deemed a handball, and that gave the Fire a golden opportunity to score a late winner in the eventful 1-1 draw.
“I thought our guys put a wall up in front of our goal and didn’t want to give anything away,” said coach Jay Heaps in his postgame conference call. “Unfortunately, Kevin got called for the handball. He wasn’t trying to get a handball, but ultimately it’s the call that the referee makes and Bobby comes up huge for us.”
Juan Luis Anangono lined up for the resulting penalty kick, salivating at the opportunity to snatch a last minute victory for the Fire. His bid was blasted low and to the right, where Shuttleworth snapped down to the turf to snuff out the bid. Shuttleworth was unable to secure the ball and Jeff Larentowicz got a swipe at it, but the Revolution 'keeper stopped that effort before Andy Dorman cleared the ball safely away from harm.
- Get more New England Revolution postgame reaction at RevolutionSoccer.net
“He came up high on set pieces and crosses and he owned the box,” said Heaps of Shuttleworth. “He didn’t have a ton of work to do but when he was called upon to make a penalty save he did it right. That’s a huge one.”
Despite being outplayed in the first half and unable to garner any proper chances in the second, the Revolution saw Shuttleworth deliver a solid performance. He made six saves and was a big part of why New England captured a road point.
“The first half was not our best stuff,” said Heaps. “It was an interesting last couple of minutes, but we’re happy to get a point.”