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Revolution rally past Minnesota United FC, push unbeaten streak to eight

Dylan Borrero points to the sky after scoring the tying goal for the Revolution.MARK STOCKWELL FOR THE BOSTON GLOBE

FOXBOROUGH — Protecting the lead should not be as difficult as the Revolution have been making it this season. But they showed themselves capable of keeping the advantage in taking a 2-1 win over Minnesota United on Sunday before a crowd of 21,289 at Gillette Stadium.

Going into the match, the Revolution had surrendered leads in six out of 10 games since April 2. This time, the Revolution (6-5-5, 23 points) fell behind on an Emanuel Reynoso penalty kick, then rallied on second half goals by Dylan Borrero and Gustavo Bou to improve their unbeaten streak to eight games (4-0-4).

Reynoso earned a penalty, going down after Andrew Farrell missed with a slide tackle, referee Ismir Pekmic issuing a caution. Reynoso sent a low penalty kick into the left side of the net as Djordje Petrovic dove the opposite way in the 37th minute. Two minutes later, Petrovic deflected a Luis Amarilla shot off the inside of the right post.

Borrero equalized in the 53d minute, firing from the penalty arc off a Carles Gil layoff, his first goal since joining the team last month on a $4.5 million transfer from Atletico Mineiro. With five Minnesota players in the penalty area, Borrero’s shot went in just inside the right post off goalkeeper Dayne St. Clair after a deflection.


Gustavo Bou drills the free kick that got past the Minnesota United defense for the eventual winning goal.MARK STOCKWELL FOR THE BOSTON GLOBE

Bou broke the deadlock with a free kick into the upper left corner of the net in the 69th minute, his third goal of the season. DeJuan Jones set things up, drawing a foul from Robin Lod about 25 yards out.

Minnesota United dominated the opening half but the Revolution, who visit Vancouver next Sunday, rallied via high pressing tactics early in the second half. This was the first time in six games the Revolution had failed to open the scoring. They have scored first in 11 games.


Asked the difference in the second half, Revolution coach Bruce Arena said: “We played better. Simple enough. Passing was better. Pressure on the ball was better. We’ve had a remarkable week given that we’re the only team in the league that had a full schedule — three games in eight days — and our guys are a little tired. And I think, it showed a little bit in the last two games. But mentally, they adjusted at halftime and gave a much better effort.”

Part of the Revolution’s motivation came from Arena’s halftime talk.

“Little bit of that,” Arena said. “But, you know, the mind plays funny tricks on people and you’ve got to get your head right and get in and compete a little better. And we did that in the second half.”

Gustavo Bou (left) battles for the ball with Minnesota's Wil Trapp.MARK STOCKWELL FOR THE BOSTON GLOBE

Observations from Sunday’s game:

▪ Bou has converted in three of four starts, after missing three months with an undisclosed leg injury.

“That’s the game, right?” Arena said. “Generally somebody does something special and we have some players who can make special plays. Gustavo is certainly one of them, as is Carles, and those guys make a difference in tight games. So give Gustavo a lot of credit.”

▪ In the first half, Bou and Jozy Altidore struggled to connect as the Revolution went with a two-forward setup. But Bou and Altidore started aggressively in the second half, opening space for Borrero, who capitalized to convert the opening goal. Altidore made his third start of the season and Arena said he would need “another month” to attain full fitness.


“Meaning he can play 90 minutes, he can play a hard 90 minutes,” Arena said. “It’s taken a little time but he’s made a lot of progress over the last month.”

▪ The Revolution have lacked the wing threat provided last year by Tajon Buchanan, until the arrival of Borrero. With Borrero in the lineup, the Revolution have compiled a 3-0-2 league record.

“He’s still getting acclimated to the league, to our team, to this artificial field, and all of that,” Arena said. “And you see he’s getting a little better every game. Today, he was more responsible on both sides of the ball. Played a pretty solid 85 minutes and he was certainly goal hungry, he had a couple chances.”

Matt Turner gets a final hug from Revolution teammate Carles Gil.MARK STOCKWELL FOR THE BOSTON GLOBE

▪ The game was billed as a sendoff for Matt Turner, who will join Arsenal FC on a $7 million transfer, but Turner remained on the bench. Turner sustained food poisoning while with the US national team.

“I did have a bout of food poisoning which kind of kicked my butt over the past week and that’s definitely a part of why I wasn’t feeling fully 100 percent to go tonight,” Turner said. “[Starting] was on the cards but end of the day it’s about more than me. You know, this team has done well this week, gotten two good results, and Djordje’s been playing well. You don’t need to throw me into a one-off game just to say goodbye. It was the perfect night in every sense of the word, in my opinion, anyway.


“I think the correct decisions were made all across the board. The emotional nature of it all is a lot. My wife’s in England, nine months pregnant, so I’ve got a lot of stuff going on. So maybe I wouldn’t have put my best performance out there and, now, I’m kicking myself because I left on a bad note.”

▪ Turner, who turns 28 Friday, made 111 appearances in all competitions for the Revolution since 2016. This year, Turner compiled a 2-0-3 record with the Revolution.

Djordje Petrovic made two of his five saves in the first half.MARK STOCKWELL FOR THE BOSTON GLOBE

▪ Petrovic made two saves against Amarilla in the opening half.

“He’s a very good goalkeeper for his age and he’s just going to get better,” Arena said. “He’s gotten better every game, he’s fit in very well and I’m excited to see his progress, I think he’s going to be a real good one.”

Arena’s emphasis on composure and disciplined defending has mostly paid off — this was the first penalty kick the Revolution have surrendered since Oct. 24, and the team has only twice lost players to red cards in the last two seasons.

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