The Revolution continue trending toward late-game breakdowns. This time, they surrendered an 88th-minute goal in falling, 3-2, to Inter Miami in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., on Saturday.
Leonardo Campana converted twice in the opening half, then decided the contest after the Revolution rallied to tie the score. The Revolution (1-4-1, 4 points), who host Charlotte FC next Saturday, extended their winless streak to five games (four straight league defeats), their worst since Bruce Arena took over as coach in 2019.
The Revolution opened the scoring on Justin Rennicks’s 10th-minute goal, his first in three years. Campana answered on counterattacks in the 19th and 23rd minutes as Miami (1-4-1, 4 points) took the lead in a game for the first time this season.
Revolution captain Carles Gil equalized on a 67th-minute penalty kick, after Rennicks went down in a clash with former University of Hartford defender Damion Lowe. The Revolution continued to threaten, but as the game opened up Miami found an opening on the left, and substitute Bryce Duke’s deflected cross was bobbled by Brad Knighton, Campana finishing into an empty net.
Three of the last five Revolution games have been decided from the 88th minute on.
“Today, it’s another gift,” Arena said. “We gave away some points at the end of the game. We have to make a play at the end of the game not to give up a loose ball in front of the goal and just get off the field with a point. I’ve told our team a number of times to think about the Salt Lake game [3-2 loss], the Red Bull game [1-0 loss] last week, you know, where in the closing minutes of games, we just take the point and get out of there and say, ‘Listen, it wasn’t our best day, but we take a point.’ But we have failed to do that. So, you know, combination of things, but we certainly haven’t played well enough.”
Other observations from Saturday’s game:
▪ Missing leading scorers Gustavo Bou (leg injury) and Adam Buksa (suspended), the Revolution switched to a 4-5-1 alignment but did not change their attacking emphasis. The Revolution went on the offensive from the start but left themselves vulnerable to counterattacks, and Miami capitalized. Rennicks, who had not scored for the Revolution since a 2019 US Open Cup game, finished a DeJuan Jones cross, following a build-up involving Andrew Farrell, Sebastian Lletget, and Arnor Traustason.
▪ Campana, on loan from the Wolverhampton Wanderers, performed as a lone striker in place of Gonzalo Higuain. This turned out to be a mini-rematch of the 2019 FIFA U-20 World Cup quarterfinals, when Campana and Ecuador got the better of Rennicks and the US in a 2-1 victory. Miami also played without Joevin Jones (injured) and Blaise Matuidi (suspended).
▪ Miami coach Gary Neville’s substitutions paid off, as Noah Allen and Duke combined on the left wing to set up the clinching goal. Duke sped past Lletget and got a cross past Gonzalez from the end line. Neville also gambled by leaving in Brazilian midfielder Jean Mota, who was cautioned by referee Ramy Touchan after taking down Rennicks from behind near the penalty area in the seventh minute.
▪ Arena substituted mostly out of necessity: Tommy McNamara departed after being cautioned in the first half; Ryan Spaulding was injured early in the second half, having started in place of Brandon Bye, also injured; and Gonzalez went to center back, Farrell returning to right back, where he played most of his career, Jones sliding to left back.
▪ In the second half, Arena went to a two-forward setup, Jozy Altidore joining Rennicks up top. The formation seemed to click as the Revolution controlled the tempo, and they threatened to score again after Gil’s equalizer. But Miami made a late spurt, capitalizing on spaces left open as the Revolution attacked. “Second half, we played well,” Arena said. “We come out and get the goal to get us back in the game and push to try to get the third goal, but at the same time, you know, they were pretty much neutralized the entire second half. I thought our guys did a good job there with the exception of that play at the end of the game.”
Frank Dell'Apa can be reached at email@example.com.