The New England Revolution triumphed 2-1 over Sporting Kansas City on Sunday as goals from Emmanuel Boateng and Gustavo Bou extended their unbeaten streak to six.
Despite a sluggish start from both ends, it was the New England Revolution that kicked off the scoring at Children’s Mercy Park in the 30th minute. Dylan Borrero initiated the run on the right, setting up Gustavo Bou inside the box before the forward sent the right-footed shot into the net.
The goal appeared to have woken up Sporting Kansas City’s attack, but the referee blew the halftime whistle before Felipe Hernandez, Cameron Duke and Johnny Russel could properly connect to find the back of the net.
While the first half gave way for the Revolution to take the lead, the second 45 saw all the drama.
Just three minutes after returning to the field, Oriol Rosell left Sporting Kansas City at a disadvantage. The midfielder committed another reckless tackle, the second time on Carles Gil in the 48th minute to receive a second yellow and subsequently get sent off with a red card to leave the hosts with 10 men on the pitch.
With one man down and no time to waste, substitute Khiry Shelton made his way forward. But before the winger could find the box, Andrew Farrell fouled Shelton on the edge to draw the free kick. Johnny Russell stepped up and rocketed the ball into the top right corner of the net. NE Revolution goalkeeper Đorđe Petrović made the dive, but there was no stopping Russell’s strike.
But Sporting KC’s celebrations did not last long.
With the hosts visibly exhausted, the New England Revolution took advantage to get numbers up. Gustavo Bou attempted the first shot at goal, but goalkeeper Tim Melia made the initial save by punching the ball out. But Emmanuel Boateng was right there to recover the rebound, burying the second attempt to regain the lead.
The victory boosts the Revolution to eighth place on the Eastern Conference table, just one spot away from a MLS playoff ticket. The result, however, leaves Sporting Kansas City struggling in last place of the Western Conference as injuries continue to plague Peter Vermes’ side.
Sporting Kansas City player ratings
1. Sporting Kansas City (4-2-3-1)
GK: Tim Melia - 7/10 - Can't be blamed for the first goal, but made a couple errors to allow the second in.
RB: Graham Zusi - 7.5/10 - Strong start, a natural leader at the back but visibly tired as the game progressed. Could be a result of the weather, but not an excuse.
CB: Kortne Ford - 6/10 - Inconsistent, and disappointed during NE Rev's first goal.
CB: Robert Voloder - 6/10 - Also fell asleep during the Rev's first goal.
LB: Logan Ndenbe - 7/10 - Decent, nothing special. Made two important clearances.
RW: Johnny Russell - 9/10 - Goal in the second half but can't carry the entire team alone.
CM: Oriol Rosell - 3/10 - Reckless challenges lead to a second yellow, and subsequent red card to leave SKC down to 10.
CAM: Rémi Walter - 6/10 - Difficult to judge after coming off injured in the 30th minute, but has been the most solid figure for the team.
CM: Roger Espinoza - 7.5/10 - Constantly involved but any shots attempted were completely off target.
LW: Cameron Duke - 7.5/10 - Good effort when attacking, must be more precise when shooting. Established a decent connection with Russell.
F: Felipe Hernández - 8/10 - Unlucky not to get a better result but worked tirelessly to be involved the entire time.
SUB: Khiry Shelton (For Walter, '30) - 7.5/10 - A good substitute, but must work to push up and create more opportunities if he wants to be started over Walter.
SUB: Andreu Fontàs (For Voloder, '45) - 6.5/10 - Failed to secure during the second goal.
SUB: Nicolas Isimat-Mirin (For Ford, '45) - 6.5/10 - Failed to secure during the second goal.
SUB: Kayden Pierre (For Zusi, '90) - N/A
SUB: Maciel (For Bou, '90) - N/A
New England Revolution player ratings
2. New England Revolution (4-2-3-1)
GK: Đorđe Petrović - 9/10 - A decent debut from the Matt Turner replacement. Made a couple necessary saves, and cannot be blamed for the goal. Maybe Bruce Arena shouldn't be worried about Turner's upcoming departure.
RB: Brandon Bye - 7.5/10 - Always exciting to watch. Strong at the back, and creative when pushing forward.
CB: Andrew Farrell - 7/10 - Gave a good game until fouling Shelton and drawing the free kick, otherwise a dependable figure at the back.
CB: Omar Gonzalez - 7.5/10 - Good defending, making an impact inside the box. Forced off the field due to the concussion protocol, but otherwise was playing well.
LB: DeJuan Jones - 7.5/10 - Okay defending, two clearances. Did his job, nothing overwhelming special or negative.
RW: Tommy McNamara - 6/10 - Underwhelming. Slowed down the game on the right.
CM: Wilfrid Kaptoum - 7/10 - Inconsistent while on the ball. Gave up possession in the midfield too easily.
CAM: Carles Gil - 6/10 - Underwhelming. If he spent less time complaining maybe he could score, but otherwise needs to step up his game. Lackluster when on the ball.
CM: Matt Polster - 7.5/10 - A fine game, has been better but wasn't the weakest link in the attack.
LW: Dylan Borrero - /10 - Great pass to Bou to inspire the goal, good manipulation of space in the midfield to lead action forward.
F: Gustavo Bou - 8.5/10 - Created opportunities and scored a goal.
SUB: Jon Bell (For Gonzalez, '55) - 7/10 - A forced sub due to concussion protocol but fine.
SUB: Jozy Altidore (For Kaptoum, '64) - 7/10 - A good opportunity to get some minutes, but could have been more lethal on his front foot.
SUB: Arnór Ingvi Traustason (For McNamara, '72) - 6/10 - Blended in.
SUB: Emmanuel Boateng (For Borrero, '73) - 10/10 - Came in, scored.