Tierney the hero in Revs home opener


Chris Tierney celebrating with the New England Revolution after scoring the game-winning goal on Saturday against the Colorado Rapids (photo credit: Kari Heistad)

New England Revolution 2-Colorado Rapids 1

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Chris Tierney sent the New England Revolution to victory on a last-gasp free kick that found the back of the net in a 2-1 win over the Colorado Rapids on Saturday at Gillette Stadium.

Tierney, who entered the match as a first-half substitute, fired a 20-yard attempt that deflected off a Rapids defender and beat a flat-footed Tim Howard for the winner in the 90+3 minute.

New England opened the scoring in the 48th minute when Cristian Penilla raced down the left and sent it central for Diego Fagundez, who had all the space and time he needed to tally the first Revolution goal of the season.

The Rapids equalized in the 66th minute when Johan Blomberg sent a cross ahead to Jackson, who steered it through on the header to score his first MLS goal.

Jackson’s score was preceded by an impressive penalty stop by Matt Turner, who denied Jack Price from the spot in the 52nd minute.

With the win the Revolution pick up their first win of the season (1-1-0, 3 points). 

Saturday’s match wasn’t exactly a walk in the park for the hosts. For first-year coach Brad Friedel was forced to shuffle his backline due to the suspensions of Antonio Delemea and Claude Dielna, who were replaced Jalil Anibaba and Andrew Farrell. Meanwhile, rookie Brandon Bye got his first start at right back.

Nevertheless, the Revolution made headway on creating chances as Penilla and Fagundez both combined along the left flank to test the Rapids backline.

A scary moment unfolded in the 24th minute when Revolution left back Gabriel Somi violently clashed heads with Rapids forward Jack McBean. After lying on the pitch for a few uncertain moments, the Revolution defender was helped off the pitch before he was replaced by Tierney.

Despite getting outshot 7-4 in the first half, the Rapids authored the strongest bid for the opener in the 27th minute Tommy Smith steered a header that forced a diving save out of Turner.

The first half may not have featured many offensive forays, but the second half was a different story entirely.

Three minutes after the break, the Revolution pointed their muskets toward the north end of the stadium, where Penilla found Fagundez for the first goal of the season for New England.

More action ensued in the 53rd minute when Anibaba brought down McBean in the box to draw the penalty. But Price failed to push it past Turner, who read the penalty try perfectly to thwart the would-be equalizer.

Colorado pressed on nevertheless, and in the 66th minute, their efforts paid off. With the Revolution backline playing a high line, Blomberg curled it ahead for Jackson, who got in front of Turner to nod it through.

But the Revolution had the final say in stoppage time. After Wilfried Zahibo drew a foul near the top of the box, Tierney lined up his shot, which took a fortuitous deflection that sent the Foxboro faithful into a wild frenzy.

The Revolution return to action on Mar. 24 when they host New York City FC. The Rapids will open their home slate on Mar. 24 against Sporting Kansas City.  


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