Foxborough, Mass. — Alexander Buttner faked out the entire New York City FC back line when he played a corner kick short to Gustavo Bou in the first minute of second half stoppage time, which gave Bou just enough time to fire at Sean Johnson’s goal from near the left side of the box.
Johnson parried the shot, but gifted Kekuta Manneh with a fat rebound and plenty of net to aim at behind him.
However, Manneh sliced his bid high and wide of goal. So high and wide, in fact, that it went out for a throw-in on the opposite sideline.
That miss encompassed Saturday afternoon for the New England Revolution, who also had two goals called back for offside and settled for a 0–0 draw with NYCFC.
New England (3–3–6, 15 points) remains two points behind fifth-place New York in the standings, is now winless in five at Gillette Stadium since the start of the season.
“The vibe in the locker room is slightly negative after a result like this, not in general, we feel that at home we should be grabbing three points,” Revolution defender Henry Kessler said. “It’s a bit mixed, obviously we’re happy to get the clean sheet, get that zero on the board, but we really feel we left points on the table today. Not one point earned, but two points lost.”
That said, Revolution head coach/sporting director Bruce Arena said the team’s performance Saturday showed improvement from its 2–0 loss to NYCFC on Sept. 2.
Revolution, Arena give Nguyen the nod
Arena gave Lee Nguyen his first start since acquiring him from Inter Miami CF earlier this month, pairing him in a playmaking role with Bou.
Teal Bunbury joined in the attack, with Tommy McNamara and Scott Caldwell holding down midfield. Alexander Buttner occasionally joined the attack from the flank.
Bunbury produced the game’s first scoring chance off a feed from Nguyen in the 13th minute when he forced a diving save from Johnson at the near post. Buchanan then skied the rebound.
Buchanan headed right to Johnson in the 24th minute off a Buttner cross from the left side. Buttner also took most of the set pieces, and crossed a 48th minute free kick into the area that Buchanan also headed at Johnson.
“I wouldn’t say they frustrated us more than we just couldn’t finish chances,” Nguyen said. “We did well to create great goal scoring opportunities in the first half and we just couldn’t convert. That made it obviously harder in the second half.
“The longer you keep teasing the game, the more confidence they’ll get. We do a better job scoring those goals in the first half, the game would have gone a lot easier in the second.”