FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Forget about those last-minute New England heroics this week. They simply weren't necessary as the Revs dispatched the New York Red Bulls, 2-0, at Gillette Stadium on Sunday.
Lee Nguyen capped a fine Revolution start by firing home from outside the penalty area to open the scoring after 24 minutes. New York striker Kenny Cooper hit the post after 56 minutes as the Red Bulls improved after the break, but Revolution debutant Jerry Bengtson concluded a good night for the home side with his first MLS goal six minutes from time to ice the win.
The victory extended New England’s unbeaten run to five matches (2-0-3), and prolonged New York’s winless streak at Gillette Stadium to 17 games (0-13-4), dating back to 2002.
New York were without stars Thierry Henry, Heath Pearce, and Rafa Márquez, but enjoyed plenty of possession and time on the ball in the middle third during the opening half. Yet it was New England who created all of the chances and eventually engineered the breakthrough.
WATCH: Full Match Highlights
After watching Blake Brettschneider and Benny Feilhaber spurn opportunities inside the first 20 minutes, Nguyen and Chris Tierney combined to open the scoring. Nguyen started the move with a diagonal pass out to Tierney on the left edge of the penalty area. Tierney could have unleashed an effort toward goal, but he pulled the ball back to Nguyen at the top of the area instead. Nguyen stepped into the space and swerved a shot around two defenders and inside the left post for his third goal of the season.
New England nearly doubled the lead five minutes before halftime after A.J. Soares' header off the bar sparked a wild scramble inside the goal area. Brettschneider tried to bundle home the rebound on a couple of attempts, but New York’s Wilman Conde blocked on the line and right back Brandon Barklage eventually hacked the loose ball clear.
The early going of the second half saw a shift in momentum. Three points would’ve seen the Red Bulls leapfrog D.C. United and Sporting KC into first place, and Cooper looked determined to make that happen.
He nearly brought the Red Bulls level twice inside the first ten minutes. First, he directed a header from a corner kick just over the crossbar. Then he clanged a bending long-range effort off the right post in the 56th minute.
Honduran international Bengtson, who signed with the Revs just this week, climbed off the bench to make his debut, coming on for Kelyn Rowe in the 60th minute. He paid immediate dividends by notching the clinching goal in the 84th minute.
The chance came when Shalrie Joseph, who started on the bench, sent Saer Sene in alone on the New York goal. Keeper Ryan Meara did well to repel Sene, but he could do nothing to stop Bengtson from collecting the rebound and coolly slotting it home from close range to mark his debut in style and send the Revs to a fifth consecutive match without defeat.
The Revolution next face Toronto FC — now coached by their former longtime assistant Paul Mariner — on Saturday, July 14, 7:30 pm ET, at Gillette Stadium. The Red Bulls return home to face the Seattle Sounders on Sunday, July 15, at 4 pm ET at Red Bull Arena, the first of a three-game homestand.
MLSsoccer.com Men of the Match
|Rank||Player||What We Saw|
|1||Lee Nguyen (NE)||Active all night long, notching a goal, creating several other chances, and even making some big defensive plays|
|2||Kevin Alston (NE)||New England's up and down right back was up for this one, careful with the ball, kept Lade, and Miller firmly in check|
|3||Dax McCarty (NY)||A workmanlike performance with little help in the midfield, distribution from deep spread the attack|