The MLS playoffs have been engrossing and so far the upstarts have given the finger to the favourites.
This time it was the Revs taking it to the Fire who had all their big named players while the Revs have been without Twellman and Ralston. But the Revs African contingent stepped up admirably as Sainey Nyassi, Emmanuel Osei, and Kenny Mensally had a huge game. As the Fire took the lead through a Chris Rolfe goal it seemed a bit bleak for the Revs in the first 20 minutes.
Shalrie Joseph with deputy Jeff Larentowicz thereafter began asserting control over the midfield and creating chances with the Revs coming close through Larentowicz and Osei. The equalizer came at the stroke of half time as a beautifully dipping free kick by Mensally was flicked into goal by a streaking Osei.
The second half saw Joseph drifting further upfield, Larentowicz holding the midfield and Nyassi operating on right and Castro subbing for Mensally, bringing his energy down the left.
The Revs were rampant and it was only Baggio (no points for guessing the inspiration for that name) Husidic’s laser shot which clanged off the underside of the crossbar and bounced down on the goal line giving the Fire their best second half chance. But it was Shalrie Joseph’s long legs giving the good old toe poke following a confused goalmouth scramble following Jon Busch’s save of Pat Phelan that gave the Revs the matchwinner and his first playoff goal. He now has an enviable 9 goals in 13 goal attempts.
The Fire had some Blanco moments but the defense led by Darrius Barnes, Kevin Alston and Jay Heaps kept the midfield maestro relatively quiet.
Onward Revs! We will see you at Toyota Park on the 8th of November. May you flip the bird.