Sunday, March 30, 2014
Nguyen's late goal gives Revs first win
By Brian O'Connell
The comeback kids took center stage on Saturday. But it wasn’t the Earthquakes who came out on top at Buck Shaw Stadium.
Lee Nguyen’s stoppage-time strike delivered a late dagger to the hosts, who entered Saturday’s match with 17 stoppage-time goals over the past two seasons, and handed the Revolution their first win of the season, 2-1 over San Jose.
Lee Nguyen was the hero as the Revolution stunned the Earthquakes in stoppage time.
Nguyen, who burst through the midfield before coolly slotting it past goalkeeper Jon Busch in the 90+3 minute, gave the Revolution a dramatic win that ended their season-opening winless streak at three.
The Revolution initially reached the scoreboard in the 35th minute when Saer Sene hunted down a Diego Fagundez chip and pressured Jordan Stewart into a dodgy back pass that Victor Bernardez inadvertently steered into his own net. The goal ended the Revolution’s season-opening scoring drought at 304 minutes.
Chris Wondolowski knotted the match when he took hold of a loose ball inside the box and slotted it through in the 69th minute.
With the win, the Revolution upped their mark to 1-2-1 (4 points), while the Earthquakes remain winless (0-2-1, 1 point) through their first three games of the season.
What it means: Despite some shaky second-half sequences that nearly saw the Earthquakes find the go-ahead goal, Saturday’s performance was just what the Revolution needed. While the first goal of the season didn’t come in the most convincing fashion, full credit is due to the Revolution for coming out to press early, and withstanding the San Jose pressure to emerge with the win late. And it only stood to reason that Nguyen would go on to score the winner. The most consistent performer on the pitch all night, the veteran midfielder coasted through the midfield with time winding down and, with a defender to beat, took a touch and beat Busch for the winner. A class goal for a class player, and a deserved win for a side that refused to quit on Saturday.
Stat of the match: The Revolution's win snapped the Earthquakes' unbeaten record at home at 21 games across all competitions, a run that dated back to March 2013.
Davies makes 2014 debut: Boston College product Charlie Davies earned his first minutes of the season when he came on for Saer Sene in the 62nd minute. A calf injury limited Davies to 19 minutes during the preseason, and he hadn’t appeared on the game-day 18 until Saturday.
Rowe out, Kobayashi in: With Kelyn Rowe unavailable due to a hamstring injury, Jay Heaps tabbed Daigo Kobayashi to slide into the central attacking midfielder’s spot.
Revs honor fallen Boston firefighters: Three days after Wednesday’s nine-alarm fire in Boston’s Back Bay claimed the lives of Boston firefighters Lieutenant Edward J. Walsh Jr. and Michael R. Kennedy and left others injured, the Revolution donned black memorial armbands that read “BFD” for Saturday’s game.
Next up: The Revolution will be on the road for the fourth time in their last five on Saturday, April 5 when they take on longtime conference rival D.C. United at RFK Stadium. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. Last year, the Revolution went undefeated (2-0-1) against D.C. in league play.