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  • Richard Fleming

Match Recap: Buchanan The Difference As Rapids Defeated

NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION 1-0 COLORADO RAPIDS Gillette Stadium, Foxborough, MA Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Tajon Buchanan’s eighth goal of the season, 16 minutes from time, set new records for the New England Revolution as they edged the Colorado Rapids and moved to 73 points, and a new league-high for a single season.

But it was not all bad news for the Rapids. They lost the game but the home win for Sporting Kansas City against LA Galaxy in a later game means the Rapids are guaranteed a home match in the playoffs.

Head coach, Robin Fraser, said afterwards: “I thought it was a pretty even game for the most part. Obviously, they’re a good team, some very good attacking players.

“Their movement in the attacking end was very good. I thought we dealt with that fairly well for most of the game and then on the other side we created a few half chances, a couple of really good chances late. In the end, they were a little bit more clinical and that’s what led to the result.”

Fraser surprised a few with his lineup, which saw a first start in more than a year for defender, Drew Moor, and a central midfield pairing of Collen Warner and Cole Bassett. Left on the bench were Jack Price, Mark-Anthony Kaye, Michael Barrios, Jonathan Lewis, Braian Galvan, and Dominique Badji.

There were bags of experience starting for the Rapids, with the 11 given the nod having an average age of 27.9. The veteran of them all, Moor, was making his 200th regular season appearance for the Rapids. The only other player to reach 200 or more appearances is Pablo Mastroeni (225).

The Rapids, though, more than held their own against the runaway Supporters’ Shield winners in their own back yard. Bassett was busy, and had the best of the first half chances, forcing a fine one-handed save from Matt Turner in the Revs goal.

Bassett, with family in attendance inside Gillette Stadium, created some openings second half, while Barrios, Lewis, and Galvan were busy.

Even after Buchanan had beaten Yarbrough at the far post from around 12 yards out, the Rapids still offered threats. Lewis found himself just ahead of a Barrios cross in the dying moments as they went looking for the point which would have confirmed a home game in the playoffs without the need for help from Sporting KC.

Yarborough had little to do, with Adam Buksa and Gustavo Bou - boasting 31 goals between them - contained well by the Rapids. Carles Gil was also kept quiet.

Moments before Buchanan’s strike, Yarbrough was forced inside a desperate save with his legs from Henry Kessler’s close-range effort. That was the only real scare, until Buchanan found a little space outside of Esteves in the penalty area and squeezed it past Auston Trusty and the helpless goalkeeper.

Kaye added: “It just came down to which team was going to be more clinical. When they got their chance, they got one chance where I felt like we actually did a good job in the box controlling Tajon [Buchanan], but he’s a good player and he got the shot off and scored.

“At the end of the day, it’s unfortunate that we didn’t get the result that we wanted coming here but very proud of the way the guys played.

“Again, New England is a top team in the league and we went toe-to-toe with them, so that means something for us.”

With the victory, Bruce Arena joins the late Sigi Schmid on 240 regular season wins as a head coach, the most of any head coach in MLS history.

Next for the Rapids is their final road trip of the regular season. They head to Houston Dynamo FC on Sunday afternoon. Coverage on Altitude TV starts at 12.30pm.

LINEUPS Revolution: Matt Turner; Brandon Bye, Andrew Farrell, Henry Kessler, DeJuan Jones; Tajon Buchanan, Matt Polster, Tommy McNamara (Emmanuel Boateng 65’); Carles Gil (Arnor Traustason 88’); Gustavo Bou (Maciel 88’), Adam Buksa. Subs not used: Brad Knighton, Wilfrid Kaptoum, AJ DeLaGarza, Teal Bunbury, Jon Bell, Scott Caldwell.

Rapids: William Yarbrough; Lalas Abubakar, Drew Moor, Auston Trusty; Steven Beitashour (Braian Galvan 78’), Cole Bassett (Dominique Badji 78’), Collen Warner, Nicolas Mezquida (Mark-Anthony Kaye 58’), Lucas Esteves; Andre Shinyashiki (Jonathan Lewis 58’), Diego Rubio (Michael Barrios 69’). Subs not used: Clint Irwin, Danny Wilson, Jeremy Kelly, Jack Price.

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