Revolution

Lekic breaks drought, but draw 'feels like a loss'

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Lekic breaks drought, but draw 'feels like a loss'

By Danny Picard
CSNNE.com Follow @dannypicard
BOSTON -- @font-face font-family: "Times New Roman";p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt; font-size: 12pt; font-family: "Times New Roman"; a:link, span.MsoHyperlink color: blue; text-decoration: underline; a:visited, span.MsoHyperlinkFollowed color: purple; text-decoration: underline; table.MsoNormalTable font-size: 10pt; font-family: "Times New Roman"; div.Section1 page: Section1; In Steve Nicols eyes, it felt like a loss.

The New England Revolution coach wasnt pleased withSaturday nights 1-1 draw with the Chicago Fire at Gillette Stadium. It gavethe Revs a point, but considering they had eight shots on goal, New Englandscoach thought his team should have walked away with three points.

Instead, the Revolution extended their current winless skidto six games.

Its disappointing because, to be honest, it feels like aloss, said Nicol after the game. We come in at halftime, one down, and weshould be three up.

Defensively, weve been great this year. But tonight wedefended terribly. Saying that, moving forward, we created chances.

At least one of those chances was finished. Revolutionforward Rajko Lekic scored just his second goal of the season on Saturdaynight. It came in the 48th minute, and tied the game at 1-1.

Lekic stood wide open in front of the Chicago goal, andreceived a pass up the middle and through traffic from midfielder Pat Phelan.Lekic took the ball, turned, and fired it into the right side of the net.

On the one hand, it looks simple, but if you panic,certainly it becomes a lot harder, said Nicol on Lekics goal. But he kepthis cool and just stroked it. It was a great finish.

Lekic hadnt scored a goal since April 23, so getting one togo in and break an eight-game drought, was a huge confidence booster.

Im here to score goals, said Lekic after the game. So itwas a tough time for me, and when I saw the ball in the net today, it was a bigtime for me.

I saw that Pat Phelan had the ball, and he was trying toshoot it on goal, and I was thinking, If Chicagos defender missed the ball,Im all alone there. And he missed it.

The Revolution missed many chances on Saturday night. And inthe final 10 minutes, they also took away several high-quality scoring chancesfrom Chicago.

It was a 10-minute span that Nicol said was a result of hisplayers losing their legs.

We were trying to get forward, and you cant do that whenyoure tired, youre going to leave holes, said Nicol. And Matt Reis made acouple saves in the last 10 minutes. Other than that, I thought we pushed thegame, most of the time.

-- Midfielder Benny Feilhaber missed his fourth straight gameon Saturday night. Going into the game, the thought was that Feilhaber wouldreturn coming off the bench from a sprained right ankle against the Fire.

But Nicol and the team are playing it safe, and took thedoctors orders to be cautious.

The doctors looked at him again, and just felt that, thattype of injury, three weeks was pushing it, said Nicol. Had it been the cupfinal, hed have been available. But we always listen to the doctors advice.

Danny Picard is on twitter at http:twitter.comDannyPicard.

Diego Fagundez scores twice, Revolution top 10-man NYC 2-1

Diego Fagundez scores twice, Revolution top 10-man NYC 2-1

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. - Diego Fagundez scored two goals in the second half and the New England Revolution beat 10-man New York City FC 2-1 on Sunday.

New England (12-15-6) set a club record with 12 wins at home. NYC (16-9-8) had several possibilities to clinch a bye in the playoffs but needed at least a draw.

Fagundez opened the scoring in the 51st minute and made it 2-0 in the second minute of stoppage time with his sixth goal of the season. Andrew Farrell set up the first goal by dribbling into the area and finding Fagundez at the top of the box. It was his first goal since June 3. Fagundez's next goal was a tap-in after his breakaway shot was knocked back to him.

Khiry Shelton scored for NYC in the third minute of extra time by getting past the defense for a long ball and heading it in.

NYC's Jack Harrison was shown a straight red card in the 26th minute for a late challenge on Teal Bunbury. It was Harrison's first red card of his professional career and he'll miss the regular-season finale against Columbus Crew SC next weekend.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE

United States fails to qualify for World Cup for first time since 1986

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United States fails to qualify for World Cup for first time since 1986

COUVA, Trinidad — The United States has been eliminated from World Cup contention, a shocking loss at Trinidad ending the Americans’ streak of seven straight appearances at soccer’s showcase.

Twenty-eight years after a stunning victory at Trinidad put the Americans back in the World Cup after a four-decade absence, their chances for next year’s tournament in Russia ended on this island nation off the coast of Venezuela.

Trinidad and Tobago scored a pair of first-half goals, and the United States was eliminated with a 2-1 defeat Tuesday night — the first time missing the World Cup since 1986.

The U.S. entered its final qualifier with a berth uncertain for the first time since 1989. Home losses to Mexico last November and Costa Rica left the Americans little margin for error.

The 28th-ranked Americans needed merely a tie against 99th-ranked Trinidad, which lost its sixth straight qualifier last week. But the defeat — coupled with Honduras’ come-from-behind 3-2 win over Mexico and Panama’s 2-1 victory over Costa Rica on Ramon Torres’ 88th-minute goal — dropped the Americans from third place into fifth in the six-nation final round of the North and Central American and Caribbean region.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE