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Revolution fall short of postseason goals

The Revolution’s first postseason run in four years ended late Wednesday night, as they fell to Sporting Kansas City, 3-1 (4-3 on aggregate), after 120 minutes, in Kansas City, Kan.

Following a 2-1 win at Gillette Stadium Saturday night, the Revolution entered Wednesday needing a tie or win to advance to the Eastern Conference final.

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Sporting KC came out on the front foot, firing on all cylinders. The Revolution withheld pressure for most of the first half until Sporting KC defender Aurelien Collin latched onto a loose ball in the box that he put in the net for a 1-0 lead in the 41st minute. More importantly though, the goal tied the series on aggregate at 2-2.

“I think we fought hard, and unfortunately I think the first half is what did us in,” said Revolution coach Jay Heaps.

“We didn’t play real well, and it wasn’t for lack of trying. We tried to get our bearings, but credit Kansas City because there are a good bunch of players on that team.”

In the second half, the Revolution were able to alleviate some of Sporting KC’s pressure. As their opponents pushed for another goal to seize the lead in the game and on aggregate, the Revolution snatched a goal off a set-piece.

Revolution forward Juan Agudelo was fouled near midfield, allowing midfielder Kelyn Rowe the opportunity to serve a ball into the penalty area. Forward Dimitry Imbongo collected the cross and scored with a scissors kick, hitting the ball right past goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen.

The Revolution weren’t able to hold onto their 3-2 aggregate lead for long, though. Former Revolution defender and Sporting KC left back Seth Sinovic struck a bouncing ball past Revolution goalkeeper Matt Reis in the 79th minute, tying the series on aggregate yet again, 3-3.

With the teams tied on aggregate after 90 minutes, the game went to two 15-minute halves. After a cautious first 15-minute overtime period from both teams, the Revolution created one of their best chances of the game.

Agudelo received a pass from midfielder Lee Nguyen before nutmegging a Sporting KC defender to create a one-on-one with Nielsen. But Agudelo, somewhat off-balance, hit his shot right at Nielsen from a few yards out before the ball was cleared away from the goal.

Just a few minutes later, Reis caught a cross and tried to spring the Revolution on a counterattack. He threw the ball down the left flank toward midfielder Diego Fagundez, but his toss was intercepted by former Revolution midfielder Benny Feilhaber.

Feilhaber raced toward the penalty box and pulled back a pass for Claudio Bieler, who side-footed a shot past Reis to give Sporting Kansas City a 4-3 lead on aggregate.

The Revolution weren’t able to overcome the deficit in the final six minutes. Reis tried to dribble the ball upfield late, but fell to the ground following a non-contact injury.

The 38-year-old went down with what the team called a “left quadriceps injury” in a game summary sent out Thursday.

Agudelo, who started 11 games and scored seven goals for the Revolution after joining the team midseason, will leave for Stoke City F.C. in England in January following the pre-contract he signed over the summer with the Premier League team.

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