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New England Revolution 1, Sporting Kansas City 0 | 2018 MLS Match Recap

The lesson from Saturday night's 1-0 New England Revolution win over Sporting Kansas City at Gillette Stadium? Always play to the whistle.

Teal Bunbury, appearing to be offside on a 44th-minute play, dutifully slotted the ball into the net before a whistle was blown. And after Video Review, Bunbury's goal, anticlimactic as it initially appeared, proved to be the difference.

The match's first half featured quick end-to-end play from both teams, but no goals arrived until the bizarre sequence leading to the lone goal. Bunbury, appearing to receive a pass from Diego Fagundez several yards offside, shot almost apologetically past Tim Melia, with body language suggesting he knew it would be whistled back. But Video Review confirmed that the ball was actually poked to Bunbury by SKC's Roger Espinoza, and even though players on both sides slowed after the offside flag was flashed, the goal was allowed.

The second half featured more chances for both teams, including several solid Revolution shots forcing Melia into highlight-reel saves, and a potential penalty call that SKC didn't get, despite it appearing that Revs defensive midfielder Wilfried Zahibo clipped SKC sub Diego Rubio just inside the box with less than three minutes remaining in regulation time.

Goals

  • 44' – NE – Teal Bunbury Watch

Three Things

  1. THE BIG PICTURE: With the controversial loss, Sporting Kansas City ends a seven-game unbeaten streak (with their only other loss coming Opening Day against NYCFC), but still remain atop the West. The Revs' win allowed them to keep pace with a Crew SC side who also won its Saturday evening home match; both teams are just below East leaders Atlanta United FC and NYCFC.
  2. MOMENT OF THE MATCH: Though there was a delay between Bunbury scoring his goal and Bunbury actually getting to celebrate his goal, it was a heads-up play that ended up paying off, in a match where chances were many but scoring was scarce.
  3. MAN OF THE MATCH: Though Bunbury might not be top of mind when thinking about MLS's most prolific goal scorers, his fourth score of the 2018 campaign puts him decidedly in form: He's now averaging nearly a goal a game over his last five matches.

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