Saturday, May 18, 2013
Revolution, Fagundez surprise Dynamo
By Brian O'Connell, Special to ESPNBoston.com
For the second straight week, Diego Fagundez scored the opening goal, but this time it proved to be the game-winner as the New England Revolution staked a surprising 2-0 win over the second-place Houston Dynamo at BBVA Compass Stadium on Saturday night.
Fagundez, who scored last week vs. New York, struck in the 51st minute while Revolution goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth stopped a trio of shots to lead the guests to their second road win of the season. An 84th-minute own goal from Dynamo defender Ricardo Clark padded the New England lead.
Both teams finished with 10 men after Bobby Boswell and Dimitry Imbongo were shown red cards in the 40th minute for their roles in a dust-up inside the Houston 18.
The Revolution win snapped a three-game winless streak (0-1-2) and improved the team's record to 3-4-4 (13 points). Meanwhile, the Dynamo, whose record unbeaten run at home ended at 36 games last week, dropped its second straight at BBVA Compass Stadium and sports a record of 6-4-2 (20 points).
What it means: Revolution coach Jay Heaps spent much of this week publicly downplaying the end of the Dynamo’s historic home unbeaten streak last week. But it’s clear that the Revolution smelled blood the moment they stepped onto the pitch at BBVA Compass Stadium. While the Dynamo played like a club that was still shell-shocked from last week’s 1-0 defeat to Sporting Kansas City, the Revolution played with inspiration and determination throughout. The convincing win will certainly serve as a morale boost, and it’ll be interesting to see whether it becomes a turning point after a disappointing and, at times, frustrating first 10 games of the season.
Stat of the game: Houston outshot New England 20 to 10 on the evening, and on that stat alone, it may have seemed like the hosts were the ones in firm command. But the fact was the chances the Dynamo uncovered weren’t of the highest quality, making it easier for the Revolution to see out the victory.
Agudelo makes his debut: Recent acquisition Juan Agudelo, who arrived via trade from Chivas USA on May 5, made his Revolution debut in the 35th minute when he came on for an injured Ryan Guy. His pressure on defender Ricardo Clark near the Houston net led to the own goal that essentially sealed the game late.
Seeing red for the first time: Imbongo’s 40th-minute red card marked the first time a Revolution player was ejected from a game this season. The Revolution picked up only three red cards last season, one of which was later rescinded by the league’s disciplinary committee.
Bengston remains on the bench: For the second straight week, designated player Jerry Bengtson was left off the starting lineup, as Imbongo got his second straight start up top. But unlike last week, Bengtson didn’t get the opportunity to come on as a substitute with the Revolution protecting their lead late.
Next up: The Revolution return to Gillette Stadium for a three-game homestand that kicks off on May 25 when they host Toronto FC. The game starts at 7:30 p.m.