BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. – Frustration coursed through the New England locker room after Wednesday night's 2-1 defeat at Chicago.
In a match that felt like a draw and looked as if it would end as one, the Revolution departed with nothing and lost ground on a playoff rival with two games in hand.
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“We're going to be frustrated tonight and we're going to be frustrated tomorrow,” New England midfielder Pat Phelan told MLSsoccer.com after the match. “We have a bitter taste in our mouth. We hate losing here and we hate losing to this team. It was an opportunity to pick up some points, and we just let it slip through our fingers.” [inline_node:316383]
Myriad reasons exist for the points dropped rather than a point gained. In the Revolution locker room, many of those justifications intertwined with referee Michael Kennedy's disproportionate foul distribution in favor of the home side (18 to three at the final whistle) and the absence of a few crucial whistles for the visitors at important junctures of the contest.
“It was a tough game,” Revolution defender Kevin Alston said. “We had our chances, they had their chances. I think we got the short end of the stick a little bit. Some calls didn't go our way that should have, and it hurt us in the end.”
Matches between these two rivals often descend into physical slugfests as both sides try to assert their will on the proceedings. The tone held true to form on this night as the two sides swapped goals – New England midfielder Marko Perovic opened the scoring after 16 minutes, while Chicago midfielder Baggio Husidic replied after 32 minutes – before Calen Carr's incisive run decided the match with five minutes to play.
While the circumstances may increase the level of frustration, it won't turn the loss into a draw. It may, however, serve as additional motivation as the Revolution conclude this two-game road swing with another vital match at Kansas City on Saturday night.
“We really can't lick our wounds too long,” New England goalkeeper Matt Reis said. “We have another big game against Kansas City here. It's a small field and they have a few new pieces to their team that have given them a boost. The only thing we can do is take a look at the game, correct our mistakes and move on.”