FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – The last time New York won at Gillette Stadium, the building was a little more than a month old and the team was still called the MetroStars.
That was until Sunday, when the Red Bulls snapped a 20-match winless streak in New England with a 2-0 victory over the Revolution, spearheaded by goalkeeper Luis Robles’ 10 saves for his third clean sheet of the season.
Up 1-0 midway through the second half on an Eric Alexander header, Peguy Luyindula, stationed at the top of the box, found himself with a clear shot that he buried past Revs goalkeeper Bobby Shuttlesworth, sealing things for a New York side that was out-paced early in the game.
Meanwhile Robles, who picked up a yellow card in the 63rd minute for wasting time, repeatedly made big saves on the line and seemed unfazed by the New England attack, which threatened frequently throughout the match.
The win, which ended the Red Bulls’ four-match winless skid, moved New York into a tie for fifth place in the Eastern Conference with 18 points from 15 games heading into the World Cup break. New England, meanwhile, are still atop the East with 23 points from 14 games and will maintain a one-point edge over Sporting Kansas City going into the break. But after a five-game winning streak, the Revs are suddenly losers of two straight.
Despite an early show of force by the Revs, the Red Bulls' first strike changed the tone of things. Lloyd Sam unleashed a long free kick from the left wing to the back post, and with Revs midfielder Andy Dorman getting tripped up with Shuttleworth, Alexander was able to redirect his header in the open space for a 1-0 Red Bulls lead in the 17th minute.
It was the first time all season that the Revs had trailed at home, and it would extend to the final whistle.
New England dominated much of the first half, relentlessly working across the field as the attack built up through precision passing that led to 11 shots and waves of traffic in the box.
Ultimately it was Robles who stood tall in the absence of New York stars Thierry Henry, Jamison Olave and Tim Cahill, stopping all four shots on net in the half, including a blast from the top of the box by Patrick Mullins within the first 30 seconds of the match. Robles also got a little help from the iron when a Diego Fagundez blast found the far right post in the 44th minute.
The Red Bulls return to MLS action on June 27 when they host Toronto FC, while New England play host to the Philadelphia Union on the 28th. Both teams will be in Open Cup action this week, with the Red Bulls facing the New York Cosmos and the Revolution taking on the Richmond Kickers.
MLSsoccer.com Men of the Match
|Rank||Player||What We Saw|
|1||Luis Robles||His 10 saves says it all as the veteran should be featured prominantly in Save of the Week voting|
|2||Peguy Luyindula||Filled in nicely at forward for the shorthanded side; insurance goal didn't hurt|
|3||Diego Fagundez||Led a relentless attack early on; if not for Robles things could have turned out differently for the Revs|