Mapp Leads Union in Comeback Victory Over Revs
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Philadelphia substitute Justin Mapp scored in second-half stoppage time to give the Union a 2-1 victory over 10-man New England at Gillette Stadium on Saturday night.
Ilija Stolica opened the scoring for New England with a clever turn and finish after 31 minutes, but the Revs were reduced to 10 men just 10 minutes later after Cory Gibbs saw red for a tackle on Eduardo Coudet at midfield. Mapp's deft ball set up fellow substitute Jack McInerney's tying goal eight minutes from time before the former Chicago star himself sealed the Union's first win in over a month.
Injured duo Kevin Alston (left hamstring strain) and Matt Reis (sore back) missed out as New England boss Steve Nicol made four changes to the side that lost 4-1 at Kansas City last Saturday. Bobby Shuttleworth replaced Reis in goal, while Emmanuel Osei and Seth Sinovic came into Nicol's restored back four with Darrius Barnes and Gibbs deployed in central defense. Chris Tierney completed the alterations by returning to the side at left midfield in place of Khano Smith.
Philadelphia Manager Peter Nowak omitted Alejandro Moreno (right hamstring strain) and Fred (personal reasons) from his squad after the duo started in last Sunday's 2-0 defeat at D.C. United. Kyle Nakazawa and Andrew Jacobson came into midfield to replaced the missing duo with Danny Mwanga operating alone up front.
Neither side conjured up much in the way of creativity from the run of play from the opening stages, though New England created a decent chance off the counter after 24 minutes. Tierney started the break by collecting the remnants of a Union set piece and playing Marko Perovic out of the Revolution defensive third. Perovic stormed down the right wing to lead the break, but he hit his far-post cross a bit too firmly and the ball glanced off Stolica's head and skittered over the end line.
Stolica didn't need to stretch nearly as far as he opened the scoring nine minutes later. The chaos in the Union penalty area started from a Perovic corner kick as Shalrie Joseph attempted to direct the service toward goal. Danny Califf halted Joseph's effort and tried to clear the danger, but his effort deflected off his chest into Stolica's feet. The Serbian striker warded off the attentions of Juan Diego Gonzalez to neatly turn and rifle home his second goal of the campaign.
Sainey Nyassi nearly doubled the lead shortly thereafter as he rattled the left post with a long distance drive and then pushed a subsequent header over the bar as the Revs attempted to consolidate their advantage.
Four minutes before halftime, New England went down a man as Gibbs was ejected for a hard late tackle on Coudet. The veteran defender pushed forward to close down space on Coudet at midfield and lunged into a tackle at the halfway line to procure a red card from referee Hilario Grajeda.
Philadelphia assumed the initiative after halftime as they attempted to restore level terms. New England, however, sat back in a 4-4-1 formation and made life difficult on the visitors as the Union struggled to crack open the resolute home side.
Nowak inserted Mapp after 65 minutes in the hopes of finding a bit of nous in the attacking third and the winger contributed almost immediately. Mapp skirted free shortly after entering the match and deftly pulled the ball back to Andrew Jacobson at the top of the penalty area, but the Union midfielder wastefully lashed his one-time effort over the bar.
McInerney made no such mistake with eight minutes to play to knot the scoreline. Mapp found himself in plenty of space on the edge of the Revolution penalty area and looped a deft ball for his fellow substitute to lash inside the near post for his second goal of the campaign.
Mapp completed his considerable contribution to the match by deciding the match in stoppage time. Mapp pounced on a loose ball at the edge of the area and drove home the winner to give the Union their first win since they beat Toronto FC on July 17.