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Real Salt Lake 3, Revolution 2

Revolution fall to Real Salt Lake on goal in stoppage time

The wintry conditions — and visiting Real Salt Lake — made for tough sledding for the Revolution at Gillette Stadium on Saturday night.MARK STOCKWELL FOR THE BOSTON GLOBE

FOXBOROUGH — The Revolution experienced a reversal on their one-goal magic in sustaining a 3-2 loss to Real Salt Lake Saturday night. After taking a two-goal lead, the Revolution (1-1-1, 4 points) surrendered three goals in the final 12 minutes, the decider converted seconds before referee Drew Fischer’s final whistle.

Emmanuel Boateng opened the scoring in first-half injury time and Jozy Altidore converted his first goal for the Revolution in the 62d minute. But the Revolution, who started the game with several reserves, surrendered goals to Sergio Cordova (78th), Justen Glad (88th), and Tate Schmitt (92d + 3) as RSL (2-0-1, 7 points) rallied.


With wind-blown snow falling, the field was covered soon after kickoff. Lines became obscured, but the Gillette Stadium grounds crew got to work, allowing play to continue, shovelers going on the field even while the action proceeded.

Boateng scored in the second minute of stoppage time, following a corner kick. Boateng took the kick, which was cleared to Andrew Farrell, who lofted a cross for Adam Buksa to head into the goal area. Boateng then finished past Zac MacMath for his third goal since joining the Revolution last season.

The second half began with penalty areas and halfway line cleared. And Real Salt Lake started the half on the attack, Bobby Wood’s low shot saved (52d) by Earl Edwards Jr., Pablo Ruiz firing high (63d), an Erik Holt attempt cleared (65th) by Tommy McNamara.

But the Revolution, who visit UNAM Pumas Wednesday, regained momentum as Revolution sporting director/head coach Bruce Arena added Altidore, Carles Gil, and Sebastian Lletget in the 60th minute. The changes soon paid off as Altidore headed in at the back post after Buksa flicked on a Lletget cross.

RSL resorted to long balls from MacMath, which proved difficult to judge in the wind, one getting past Farrell, to be finished into an open net by Cordova. Glad equalized off a free kick after Gil was cautioned, and Schmitt broke the deadlock from just inside the penalty area.


The Revolution set a league record with an 18-3 record in one-goal games last season and took a 1-0 victory over FC Dallas in their home opener this year.

“It certainly wasn’t a soccer game but both teams played under the same conditions so give them credit,” Arena said. “There are going to be crappy goals scored on a day like today and we certainly allowed three of them at the end of the game.”

Observations from Wednesday’s game:

▪ Real Salt Lake’s best weapon turned out to be high punts from MacMath, the ball becoming difficult to judge in swirling wind. Bypassing the midfield and simply launching long passes turned out to the most effective way to attack.

▪ The Revolution’s 3-0 win over Pumas in a CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal match Wednesday was played in snow, turning to freezing rain, but in considerably milder temperatures and less wind. In the past, the Revolution were reluctant to schedule home matches early in the season. Gil, the Revolution’s captain, said in a post-match interview the game should have been postponed.

“Games have been played in the snow so I can’t argue that,” Arena said. “What do you take away from it? Probably have to have better concentration at the end of the game. And certainly on a day like today there’s going to be mistakes in the penalty area and for us to have a combination of mistakes like that at the end of the game is inexcusable.”


▪ Revolution defender A.J. DeLaGarza said the match was conducted in “the worst conditions I’ve ever played in in my entire life — the wind, the snow, the ice. I think a couple guys said that in the first half to the ref, and he said, ‘If the ball’s rolling, we’re playing.’ So, guys are playing and everybody watching knew that wasn’t how you play the game. But at the end of the day, there’s two teams out there and you compete and battle and grind to get a result and we put ourselves in good position until the end of the game.”

▪ Revolution players contended the equalizing goal had been set up by a free kick that should have been disallowed because the ball was moving when struck by Pablo Ruiz. The officiating team replied via email to a pool reporter’s question: 1) “At the taking of the free kick, the focus of the officiating team is primarily on the block of players challenging in the penalty area. There is negligible movement of the ball just prior to it being kicked however this was not seen by the officiating team; 2) This incident is outside the VAR Protocol and the VAR is not permitted to intervene.”

Said Arena: “The ball was moving. They looked at it and they said it didn’t move. We have the most inefficient use of VAR probably in the world. We looked at it and the ball was moving. Having said that, they still got the goal and all of that. There’s no point in having VAR if they can’t look at that tape and make that decision. What can I say?”


▪ The Revolution lost at home to Real Salt Lake for the first time (2-1-1) since 2013, when they fell, 2-0. Asked if he had a message for the team, Arena replied: “We’ll talk Monday and we’ll be ready to play on Wednesday.”

▪ Arena said Wilfrid Kaptoum and Arnor Traustason were replaced partly because they had been cautioned in the first half. “We brought in some fresh players,” Arena said. “This referee in the beginning of the game didn’t do a good job of issuing cards on a day like today when there’s going to be a lot of sloppy plays — you don’t want to be playing the last 30 minutes at 1-zero with two players with yellow cards. You never know what the guy’s going to do.”

The Revolution's Jon Bell (left) and Ryan Spaulding (right) along with goal keeper Earl Edwards show their disappointment after Real Salt Lake's third goal to win the match.MARK STOCKWELL FOR THE BOSTON GLOBE

Frank Dell'Apa can be reached at frankdellapa@gmail.com.