A must win game on the road against a Revolution side that is on a roll was always going to be a difficult task but the Fire, as they've done all season, made it more difficult on themselves than it had to be. Following the formula of frustration that has placed them in the position that they are in today has made any slim playoff hopes even more of a prayer.
Missed opportunities to come out of the first half with more than one goal, a late first half equalizer as a result of sloppily defending a set piece second ball, and a critical team mistake are all symptomatic of the big issues through the first 26 games of the season. The Fire didn't play terribly in withstanding some early pressure but aren't good enough to overcome mistakes and missed chances.
"We're a really weird team," said Frank Yallop after the match. "We do everything right tactically in the first half, shutting down their main players, we're dangerous on counter attacks, but we give up a silly goal before half time and let them right back in the match. That's the frustrating part right now. We don't play the complete ninety minutes right now."
Only one shot on target over ninety minutes in a road game against a conference opponent isn't going to win many matches unless you're managing to maintain a tight and mistake free defensive effort. The Fire can't afford even the slightest of errors because they don't have the weapons to overcome them. The final eight games will be open auditions for players making a case for return in 2015. Unfortunately there have been too many mistakes and missed chances this season for anything more than that.
GK Sean Johnson (6) - Two big saves in the 56th minutes, one on Rowe and the other against Barnes, kept the game tied for the time being. Davies' goal came in a 1v1 situation and Fagundez' goal came as a result of horrid team defending on a second ball from a corner kick.
D Gonzalo Segares (5) - Beaten by Barnes off a corner kick for a clear header that Johnson knocked away.
D Bakary Soumare (5) - Drawn out of position to cover a ball at the opposite side of the field after a corner kick in the 41st. That led to the defensive break down on New England's first goal.
D Jeff Larentowicz (5) - Reacted a second late to the offside trap and kept Davies onside resulting in the go-ahead New England score. Center backs were decent but the Fire can't afford one mistake.
D Lovel Palmer (6) - Had the best all around game of all Fire defenders and continues to show well over the last two months.
M Alex (4) - Continues to offer very little in terms of offensive support. His highlights included a pass that was too long for Cocis in the 38th and a shot from distance that was just wide left in the 51st. That was it. Lost mark on the first New England goal.
M Razvan Cocis (4) - Also lost his mark on the first Revolution score. Rarely figured into anything going forward. New England won the possession battle easily (62-38).
M Matt Watson (4) - With the Fire completing only 72% of their passes, the overall play in midfield was much less effective than it was against FC Dallas. Watson was errant for most of the night and not much of a factor on either side of the pitch.
M Grant Ward (5) - Started well with a dangerous cross in the 12th while looking to beat defenders. Quiet from about midway through the first half until he was subbed out in the 75th.
F Sanna Nyassi (5) - Scored the lone goal on a well taken header in the 28th but should have had two others in the first half. A wide open header attempt in the 14th ended up missing the net altogether and a 1v1 break away against the 'keeper ended up rattling the goal post.
F Quincy Amarikwa (6) - Managed to create two great opportunities for Nyassi with excellent crosses that should have resulted in two goals. Didn't have many chances of his own however.
F Matt Fondy (4) - Inexplicably was the first call off the bench when he replaced Alex in the 65th. Several bad touches and giveaways marred any chance of a comeback.
M Harry Shipp (5) - Entered the match for Nyassi in the 75th. A free kick in the 82nd sailed over everyone and harmlessly past the endline.
M Patrick Nyarko (6) - Subbed in for Ward in the 75th and immediately showed some of the skill that makes him valuable. After dispossessing Jermaine Jones in the 78th he drew a yellow on Caldwell who was forced to foul him to keep the attack from progressing. Another similar play in stoppage time ended up with Cocis giving the ball away.
The Fire are now 7 points out of the fifth and final Eastern Conference playoff spot with only 8 games remaining. A home game against a struggling Toronto FC is on tap for next Saturday.