Saturday, September 21, 2013
Rapid Reaction: Revolution 2, United 1
By Brian O'Connell, Special to ESPNBoston.com
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Lee Nguyen wasn’t going to miss twice from the spot on the same night.
Nguyen, who saw his first penalty try stopped by Bill Hamid in the 57th minute, converted on his second opportunity in the 83rd minute to steer the New England Revolution (11-11-7, 40 points) to a much-needed 2-1 win over D.C. United (3-20-6, 15 points) on Saturday at Gillette Stadium.
The Revolution grabbed their first goal from Diego Fagundez, who beat the D.C. backline and buried a Saer Sene through ball in the 58th minute, only moments after Nguyen’s miss.
D.C. grabbed its only goal of the game when Luis Silva sent a cross inside that Scott Caldwell inadvertently knocked into the back of his own net in the 11th minute.
With the win, the Revolution snapped their three-game winless streak and jumped back into the fifth spot, pending the final score of Saturday’s Houston-Columbus game. Meanwhile, D.C. saw their winless streak reach seven (0-4-3).
What it means: It was a game that hardly looked promising for the Revolution in the early stages. Scott Caldwell’s own goal gave D.C. United the lead going into the half, and after Nguyen missed from the spot in the 58th minute, it looked like the Revolution were doomed against a plucky D.C. side. Then, the game turned on a dime when Fagundez, who looked offside when Sene played him a picture-pretty through ball, equalized it a minute later. D.C. nearly struck back late when Conor Doyle chipped Matt Reis, who quickly raced back to deny it, setting the stage for Nguyen to claim a measure of redemption after he was fouled inside the area again. This time, though, Nguyen slotted it through, and the Revolution kept their postseason ambitions alive in a game that was much closer than they would’ve liked.
Stat of the game: Prior to Saturday’s game, the Revolution had been awarded only one penalty try all season, which came in a May 2 contest against Real Salt Lake. Incidentally, that try -- which came from Saer Sene -- was also saved.
Agudelo unavailable: Striker Juan Agudelo, who was listed as questionable with a right hamstring strain, was not among the game-day 18 for the Revolution on Saturday. Agudelo was limited to 29 minutes in last week’s game in Chicago.
McCarthy out, Soares in at center back:AJ Soares reclaimed the spot next to Jose Goncalves after he was dropped from the lineup in favor of Stephen McCarthy last week in Chicago.
Reis returns from suspension: After serving his red card suspension during last week’s game at Chicago, Matt Reis resumed the starting goalkeeping duties against D.C. Reis was red carded in the fifth minute of the Revolution’s Sept. 8 game against Montreal for fouling Marco Di Vaio inside the box. Prior to Saturday, Reis’ lone appearance against D.C. this season was a June 26 U.S. Open Cup quarterfinal clash, which the Revolution lost 3-1.
Next up: The Revolution will remain at home next weekend to host the Houston Dynamo on Saturday, Sept. 28. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m.