FOXBORO -- This isn't how they wanted to start their home stretch, that's for sure.
Five-out-of-six games at home entering Wednesday night's match with Real Salt Lake meant that New England had a perfect opportunity to kick it off on the right foot.
No pun intended, Saer Sene could not have telegraphed a left-footed penalty kick more than he did 1:45 into extra time of the second half. It was an opportunity for the Revolution to tie the game at 2-2 and earn at least a point on a night in which New England should have earned three.
But Sene's penalty kick was stopped by Real Salt Lake goalkeeper Nick Rimando, who guessed to his right, and guessed correctly, helping hand the Revs a 2-1 loss at a rainy Gillette Stadium.
"It's a disappointing result," said Revolution coach Jay Heaps after the loss. "This is a tough one to take, because you fight, but we were just a little bit, we gave away too much at the end there to a good team.
"Quite frankly, I was disappointed," added Heaps. "We have a lot of games coming up, and you want your substitutes to go in and bring the level up. But unfortunately, we just couldn't get control of the ball. And it wasn't good enough in the end."
In the end, those substitutions that Heaps made in the second half -- after taking a 1-0 lead on a Ryan Guy goal in the 51st minute -- took away the team's best penalty-kicker.
"Lee Nguyen is our penalty-kick taker," said Heaps. "We have contests and things like that, and the players work on it. So in terms of that, Saer was out penalty-kick taker last year. He's coming back to form. He's taken a few, obviously, in training. It's a bad one. Not a bad penalty-kick, it's a bad spot to be in, in the 90th minute, when it would've been good to have Lee in that spot."
Nguyen was taken out of the game in the 74th minute. It was one of two substitutions that the Revs made. And Heaps didn't see the game turning the way it did aftwerwards.
"Unfortunately, after we scored, we dropped off a little bit too much and gave a little bit too much space in the midfield," said Heaps. "So, you score a goal, you make subs to help your team, and unfortunately, it didn't bring our level up. It brought our level down."
The Revs had a 1-0 lead until the 77th minute, when Devon Sandoval put a rebound past New England goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth, who initially made a huge save on a Sandoval header just a minute prior, which looked to be a game-changing and game-winning save.
But Sandoval finished moments later, and then Olmes Garcia put home another Shuttleworth rebound in the 89th minute, to give Real Salt Lake a 2-1 lead.
To that point, Heaps believes his team just wasn't "clinical" enough after they took the initial 1-0 lead in the second half.
"I think that it was there," said Heaps. "I think we needed to get the second goal. And quite frankly, one goal should have seen it through."
That said, the Revs still had an unexpected chance to make up for it with Sene's penalty kick.
"I think give him another nine of those, he'd probably put them all away," said Guy about Sene's attempt which was saved.
But Sene's missed opportunity summed up a night that the Revs should have been happy about.