for this game

Fire, Revolution waste opportunities with 0-0 draw

Oct 18, 2009 - 4:16 AM FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (STATS) - The Chicago Fire blew a chance to wrap up a spot in the postseason. The New England Revolution put their chances of getting one in jeopardy.

The Revolution lost control of their playoff fate and the Chicago Fire wasted an opportunity to clinch a postseason berth in a 0-0 draw Saturday night.

While Chicago (10-7-12) remained in second place in the Eastern Conference, New England (10-10-9) fell into a tie with Toronto, D.C. United and FC Dallas for the league's eighth and final playoff spot.

The Revolution don't have the tiebreaker over Toronto because they lost the season series. New England closes the regular season at Columbus on Oct. 25.

"I think we're more disappointed because we really needed those points," defender Jay Heaps said. "We put ourselves in a bind."

The Revolution appeared to take control in the first minute when Kevin Alston pushed up the right channel and snapped a cross through toward Kheli Dube, but the striker lost his balance and fell to the ground as the ball sailed away.

New England continued its pressure in the 24th minute when Jeff Larentowicz fed a ball through to Sainey Nyassi, who charged ahead unmarked and fired a quick shot that Jon Busch saved.

"Last week, nobody went for the ball," said Revolution coach Steve Nicol, whose team was coming off last Saturday's 1-0 loss to Columbus. "This week, everyone went for the ball. So there were some positives."

Chicago began to find its form later in the first half. In the 30th minute, Chris Rolfe delivered a ball ahead to Patrick Nyarko, whose shot skipped wide of the far post. About 8 minutes later, Rolfe escaped two Revolution defenders and caught goalkeeper Matt Reis well off his line, but the midfielder lobbed the ball ahead and it bounced wide of the post.

The Revolution reclaimed the momentum in the second half, peppering Busch with shots from Dube and Kenny Mansally before the 50th minute.

"We had enough balls in the penalty box, and created a lot of havoc," Nicol said. "But you have to have the instinct to pounce on it. And we didn't have that."

The Fire nearly took advantage of a mistake in the 63rd as Revolution defender Emmanuel Osei misplayed a ball in his own area. Rolfe pounced on it and went in alone on Reis before the keeper broke it up with a swipe at the ball and Rolfe's boot. It appeared Reis might be carded and a penalty awarded, but referee Jorge Gonzalez instead issued a yellow to Rolfe for embellishment.

"From where we were standing, it was definitely a penalty," Chicago coach Denis Hamlett said. "I thought the referee was far away from the play - so he decided to card (Rolfe) for diving. I'm still trying to figure that one out."

With 10 minutes to play, the Fire issued another challenge when Brian McBride went down the right and sent a cross to Baggio Husidic, but the pass evaded the midfielder's left foot at the last moment.

Neither club lodged a serious threat in the remaining minutes.

Before the match, the Revolution announced assistant coach Paul Mariner had resigned to pursue a coaching position abroad.

"I can't tell you how much he's helped us," Nicol said. "We'll certainly miss him."