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New England Revolution players aren’t focused on unbeaten streak

Unbeaten run in league matches reaches 11 games as New England Revolution tie club record set in 2005.

Jul 27, 2019; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Revolution forward Cristian Penilla (70) celebrates his goal with defender Jalil Anibaba (3) during the second half against the Orlando City at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 27, 2019; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Revolution forward Cristian Penilla (70) celebrates his goal with defender Jalil Anibaba (3) during the second half against the Orlando City at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Matt Turner slammed his hands to the ground as Orlando City SC’s Sebastian Mendez picked the ball out of the net.

Tesho Akindele had just scored and the New England Revolution’s 4-0 lead and 262-minute shutout streak had just been tarnished in the 77th minute of Saturday night’s game at Gillette Stadium.

New England finished the match 4-1 winners and extended their unbeaten run in league matches to 11 and tied a club record for longest single-season streak without a loss.

After the game, Turner said the Revolution could have delivered a more thorough performance.

“We did concede, so that was unfortunate,” Turner said.

“We’re really disappointed. When you’re up 4-0, you should be in the driver’s seat. But we took our foot off the gas and started sitting deeper and deeper.”

Revolution head coach/sporting director Bruce Arena struck a similar chord during his post-game remarks.

New England hasn’t lost an MLS match since he was hired on May 9 – the Revolution’s longest run without a loss since 2005 – but the team is still seventh in the Eastern Conference standings.

If the playoffs started today, the Revolution would be in but wouldn’t get to host a game. That’s also assuming the Revolution clinch a post-season berth at all, as they still have 11 matches left to play.

“Eleven games unbeaten, I guess,” Arena said. “Those things are nice. I don’t pay a whole lot of attention…from what I can tell we’re not in great shape in terms of the table and all, so all that doesn’t matter a whole lot.

“We’ve got to just get points. Whether it’s 11 games without losing, that’s fine and all, but the biggest thing is to get three points, and especially at home. We’ve been able to do that, so that’s a positive.”

New England didn’t show too many signs of slowing down on Saturday night outside of Akindele’s goal and a few errant passes out of defense and central midfield.

Gustavo Bou opened the scoring in just the third minute off a nifty give-and-go with Edgar Castillo. Then Cristian Penilla, Carles Gil, and Diego Fagundez added to the lead with second half strikes.

Bou has scored in both matches he’s played at Gillette Stadium since signing with the Revolution on July 10. Gil has also recorded a goal and an assist in his last three games.

Though the Revolution conceded a late goal, Turner said he has seen improvements in how the team defends. He also said improving is New England’s primary focus, even though those who follow the club have given the unbeaten streak lots of attention.

“We’re just focused on ourselves,” Turner said. “Every week we go into the game and we just want to win that game.

“We’re taking it one game at a time because we dug ourselves such a hole, there’s no real reason to look at a giant streak. We’re not in first place even though we’re 11 unbeaten. We want to just continue to build and grow and win games in October and November.”

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