FOXBOROUGH — The Revolution have hit the ground running, compiling one of their best early season records. But the Revolution met a speed bump as they sustained a 1-0 loss to FC Dallas on Saturday night.
The result snapped Revolution streaks of four games unbeaten and 272 consecutive shutout minutes, plus an 11-match home unbeaten streak dating to July 5.
The game was played at a hectic pace, FC Dallas (2-0-3, 9 points) capitalizing on the chaos as rookie Jacori Hayes scored his first professional goal in the 77th minute.
Despite the defeat, the Revolution (3-2-1, 10 points) are off to their best start since compiling a similar record after six games in 2008.
“Whenever you play against a team that’s compact like that, it’s going to take a little more time,” Revolution coach Brad Friedel said. “We had more than enough chances to score.”
One of those opportunities might have occurred in the closing minutes, as Krisztian Nemeth appeared to have been fouled by Matt Hedges in the penalty area, referee Hilario Grajeda allowing play to continue.
“It was a penalty,” Friedel said. “Sometimes you’re going to be on the good side of those, sometimes you’re going to be on the bad. With video review that was unquestionable.”
Said Nemeth, a 76th-minute replacement for Teal Bunbury: “I feel someone kick my legs [from behind], so I think it was [a penalty kick]. I asked [Grajeda] to check the VAR and he said they already checked it. Sometimes they give you positive things, sometimes negative.”
In the opening half, FC Dallas produced the best threats, Roland Lamah setting up Cristian Colmán for a point-blank header, saved by Matt Turner (16th minute); Colmán going in alone on a breakaway but failing to get a shot (27th); Michael Barrios hitting the side net from close range (36th); a Lamah left-footer parried by Turner (40th). The Revolution struggled to create, their best attempt a Bunbury header off a throw-in, tipped over the bar by Jimmy Maurer (23rd) and a Scott Caldwell left-footer saved (43rd).
Juan Agudelo replaced Caldwell after halftime, Luis Caicedo moving alongside Wilfried Zahibo in a holding midfield role, but the Revolution failed to break through. Agudelo was off target with a bicycle kick (52nd) and had a shot saved off a Bunbury feed (55th), Diego Fagundez shooting wide (64th). Hayes then left-footed past Turner from just outside the goal area off a Lamah feed. The play was set up as a cross bounced past right back Andrew Farrell, Lamah then laying off for Hayes.
FC Dallas, coached by former Revolution midfielder Oscar Pareja, was playing its first away game of the season and snapped an eight-game road winless streak dating to July 22.
The Revolution entered the match with momentum, seeming to have been revived in Friedel’s initial season; they continued to have difficulty with FC Dallas, which has taken seven successive wins over the Revolution in all competitions since 2011.
“It was one of those back-and-forth games and the other team had one chance and they buried us,” Fagundez said. “It’s a hard one to take but now we have to look forward to Columbus [next Saturday]. I think we were getting some chances but we weren’t in the box a lot and getting clear chances to score. But in the last couple minutes we pinned them in and it was chance after chance after chance, and I thought we were going to get one.
“I think the team is going to get stronger when things go bad. Right now, this is one game and we just have to keep going. I think our team’s been doing well. When we have our chance we’re going to bury teams. Today just wasn’t our day.”
Fagundez, the Revolution’s leading scorer with three goals, started in an attacking midfield role for the sixth time, as Lee Nguyen remained out of the lineup.
“[Fagundez] has won the No. 10 role fair and square,” Friedel said. “Diego performed very well and there’s no need in that game — I would never in a million years have taken off my No. 10 and put in another No. 10.”