Slumping Revolution fall short
Mapp’s goal lifts Union to victory
FOXBOROUGH — Justin Mapp was not on the Philadelphia Union roster a month ago. Nor was Mapp in the lineup at the start of last night’s game against the Revolution. But Mapp was there when the Union needed him, providing an assist and the deciding goal in the final 10 minutes in a 2-1 win over the Revolution.
The Revolution (6-12-3, 21 points) played the final 49 minutes a man short, Cory Gibbs red-carded for a tackle late in the first half. And the Revolution performed well defensively, protecting a lead provided by Ilija Stolica’s 31st-minute goal.
But Mapp found Jack McInerney for the tying goal (82d minute) and slammed in a shot from just outside the penalty area in added time. Mapp continued a history of battles with the Revolution, which started when he was a member of the Chicago Fire from 2003 through July.
“We went out to get 3 points and, up until Cory’s sent off, we were pretty much sitting comfortable — 1-nil up and not having a save to make,’’ Revolution coach Steve Nicol said. “And then, the referee’s decision totally changes the game and that’s not good for anybody. We don’t want officials affecting the outcome of games but it did [last] night.
“Playing a man down for nearly an hour, it’s tough. The guys stuck to the task well. A couple of letdowns. But with 11 men against 11 men we win that game comfortably.’’
The Revolution seemed rejuvenated at the start of the match, recovering from a two-game road trip. The team attacked effectively and defended aggressively. But after Gibbs was ejected, the Revolution struggled to keep possession and settled into a defensive shell.
Gibbs will be suspended for the Revolution-Seattle game Saturday, but is eligible for the SuperLiga final against Monarcas Morelia Wednesday.
The Revolution returned to a 4-4-2 alignment, a week after going with a 3-5-2 in a 4-1 loss at Kansas City. Emmanuel Osei started at right back in place of Kevin Alston (hamstring) and Seth Sinovic made his first left back start since July 11, flanking central defenders Darrius Barnes and Gibbs. After the red card, Osei took Gibbs’s place, Chris Tierney went to left back, and Marko Perovic to the left wing in a 4-4-1 setup.
The Revolution attacked from the opening minute, Stolica’s overhead kick volleyed wide by Perovic. The Revolution threatened on counters, including a Sainey Nyassi run, which resulted in a Stefani Miglioranzi caution (29th). Stolica scored after Shalrie Joseph’s shot was blocked off Perovic’s corner kick. Surrounded by three defenders, Stolica was first to the ball, sending a left-footer past Chris Seitz for his second goal in five games since joining the team early this month. The Revolution stayed on the offensive, Nyassi hitting the left post (36th) and then heading over the bar.
Gibbs came in hard on Eduardo Coudet in front of the team benches near the halfway line. Referee Hilario Grajeda immediately red-carded Gibbs, despite strong protests from the Revolution. Philadelphia dominated possession for much of the second half. The Revolution retreated into defense, then Khano Smith replaced Stolica in the 54th minute. Smith went to the left wing, Perovic to forward.
Though the Union controlled the ball, it seldom threatened until after Mapp replaced Kyle Nakazawa in the 65th minute.
McInerney tied the score, one-timing a shot after Mapp took possession near the top of the penalty area, then turned and slotted the ball through. Philadelphia pressed forward, Tierney blocking a Roger Torres shot (89th) with a sliding tackle in the penalty area. The Revolution earned a free kick and corner as Perovic advanced on the left side, but then was left exposed as the Union counter-attacked. Tierney recovered from a poor clearance to stop a Sebastien Le Toux shot, but Mapp made a late run and sent the deciding shot past Bobby Shuttleworth.
“The second goal, I kind of screwed up the clearance,’’ Tierney said. “I thought we had some decent numbers back, Mapp snuck in, so what can you do? We had a couple set pieces where I thought maybe we were going to nick one but it’s always tough, a man down, guys out of position, we were throwing numbers forward, and that’s what happens. I take full responsibility, I muffed the clearance, obviously.’’