NOONAN'S TAKE | Roman Celentano, Yerson Mosquera stand out in 1-1 draw at New England

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Saturday’s heavyweight bout between FC Cincinnati and the New England Revolution certainly lived up to the hype. The top two teams in the Eastern Conference went toe to toe in what felt like an early season playoff match that finished 1-1 at Gillette Stadium.

“The crowd was into it,” said Pat Noonan following the final whistle. “They certainly helped in it feeling like a game with some magnitude. I think it’s two good teams, early on in the season, that are at the top of the table and trying to go out and compete in a way where you try to create a little separation and stay at the top.”

A point on the road in a hostile environment keeps the Orange and Blue on pace with the Revolution and three points clear of third place Atlanta United following their 3-1 loss to Nashville SC at GEODIS Park.

“I would say, overall, it felt like a pretty even game when you look at some of the chances both teams had,” said Pat Noonan. “I’m thinking back to Sergio—really good chance, Lucho, Nick’s header at the end. We had enough looks but so did they. I think both teams competed well tonight, and I can’t speak for Bruce, but I’m sure there are things that he thought his team could have done better with the ball as do I."

The first half roared to life following Luciano Acosta’s 29th minute penalty that was saved by Djordje Petrovic and Cincinnati’s subsequent goal from Yerson Mosquera just a minute later from a corner kick.

“I think there was some sloppy passing on the night that opened up some transition moments and made it exciting,” said Noonan. “But there were just a lot of careless play where it felt like it was-and the ball was bouncing in the air a little bit too much.”

Mosquera’s two goals this season have earned the Orange and Blue four points through two matches and puts Mosquera one goal behind Jon Gallagher and Caleb Wiley for the most goals by a defender this season.

“There’s different looks that we put together in preparation,” said Noonan. “Some we execute, some we don’t, obviously, but it’s a matter of the delivery being good and guys hitting their sports. Yerson did that well in the Miami game, and then he did it again tonight and got us a goal at a good moment too.”

A frantic first half of action was met with a more subdued, controlled second.

“The message at halftime was, ‘everybody just relax. Everybody breathe’,” said Noonan. “See if we can come out and have a better game, a better half, on both sides. I do like the way the guys fought tonight when we weren’t sharp against a good team that does well to get numbers in wide positions and get good service, dangerous service in the box. I thought, for the most part, we did a decent job of that on the night.”

FC Cincinnati were outshot 13 to 10 in Foxborough but matched New England in shots on target. Emmanuel Boateng finished the night with a goal and four shots, but no other Rev’s player registered more than two shots.

“A big focus for us was in dealing with the one-v-one duels out wide and then the wide service. I think what would have would have been, you know, a really strong performance overall, is if a lot of those clearances, we were able to just connect a couple passes and then start to move forward. That's where we were sloppy, but a hard-fought point.”

FC Cincinnati goalkeeper Roman Celentano played a big part in the result, helping the Orange and Blue to their third draw on the road in five away matches this season.

“I think Roman was strong,” said Noonan. “He was strong, made some good saves. A couple of sequences in the first half, now thinking back to Boateng’s chances, he does well there. I’m not sure if one of them is blocked but I think he positioned himself well from there on. Not sure if there is much he can do on the goal with the cross because it’s hit with some pace.”

Celentano finished the night with four saves and kept the match level in the 88th minute with a big save against Gustavo Bou. Celentano continues to impress in goal this season as he has started every match for the Orange and Blue this season.

It’s back to TQL Stadium next Saturday night as the Orange and Blue look to stay unbeaten at home. FC Cincinnati is 5-0-0 on the year and are just one of three teams yet to drop points at home (Houston Dynamo and LAFC). Tickets are on sale and can be purchased here.