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New England Revolution 2: Austin FC 2: 3 Thoughts
A buzzer beater sends fans home unhappy
In the first-ever matchup between the New England Revolution and Austin FC, the Revs walked away with a draw that felt more like a loss.
The starting XI remained mostly unchanged from Wednesday’s match against the New York Red Bulls. Coach Richie Williams stuck with the 4-3-3 formation that helped New England be more of a threat in the final third.
Andrew Farrell replaced Matt Polster at right back with Polster’s wife Brittney in labor with their second child. DeJuan Jones also made it onto the bench after missing out on the club’s last two games.
But what do you need to know about the match against Austin? Here are three thoughts.
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1 - A stoppage time disaster
The ending of the game will be the most talked about portion of the match and for good reason. New England could have walked away with three points on a matchday where Cincy suffered defeat but poor game management doomed the Revs to a draw.
Now Richie Williams shouldn’t be blamed, his coaching isn’t the reason New England lost. A month into his stewardship after Bruce Arena was put on administrative leave, Williams has proven that the team would be in good hands if he patrols the sidelines for the remainder of the season.
But with the clock winding down, Christian Makoun opted to attempt to chip Austin goalkeeper Brad Stuver instead of bringing the ball into the corner and maintaining possession. While a goal from far out would have been sick — I was cheering for it to be honest — it was far from the smartest decision in that moment.
Austin then stomped down the field and with a buzzer beater left Gillette Stadium with a point. It was a robbery that Cheifsaholic would be proud of.
Luckily New England isn’t fighting for a playoff spot at the moment but those points could become costly. Imagine if the Revolution have to play Inter Miami in the playoffs due to dropping points on Saturday evening?
Williams has preached about being professionals since taking over and Makoun simply didn’t act like one in the moment. While New England could have stopped the Austin attack, the goal doesn’t happen if Makoun makes the right play.
2 - Chancalay converts
In his third match (second at home) as a member of the New England Revolution, Tomas Chancalay scored his first goal in MLS.
Ian Harkes sent a ball into the box that made its way past Austin FC defenders and to the feet of the 24-year-old. Chancalay had a clinical finish and brought the score even.
But he wasn’t done yet. Chancalay knocked home a header in the opening minutes of the second half that gave the Revs the lead.
So far, Chancalay looks like someone who could become a key piece of the Revolution roster. He has shown some impressive skill on the ball and has been impressive when forced to defend or press. The fact that he was able to score is also welcome seeing that the Revolution have struggled to score in the air.
The Argentinian has a level of skill and playmaking ability that New England has been missing since Dylan Borrero went down with a season-ending knee injury. Now just imagine when the two are on the field together.
Revolution fans should be excited about Chancaly’s performance and the impact he can make in the future. He is a talented player who could help New England win games with his ability to create and convert chances.
The goal is just a reflection of his great play since joining New England and I expect there will be plenty more to come.
3 - Nacho man
Sort of under the radar, Nacho Gil has been impressive in his last two appearances. The Spaniard has been racing all over the field and being a pest out on the wing.
Gil’s efforts finally made it to the stat sheet as he assisted on Chancaly’s second goal of the match. A great cross from Gil found the head of the Argentine and Chancalay gave the Revs the lead.
Since returning from injury, Gil’s speed has been noticeable and he has caused a number of turnovers. It seems like it would be quite difficult to take Gil out of the starting XI.
Selection headaches are the best ones to have as a head coach and with the depth at midfield and a healthy Nacho Gil, Williams will have some tough decisions to make.
Now New England gets a break from the madness of mid-week matches as the club heads on the road next weekend to face Minnesota United.