The New England Revolution snapped their winless streak and ended their three game home-stand on a high note tonight with a 2-0 win over the Columbus Crew. With tonight's win the Revs have exceeded their 2011 point total by one point, bringing them to 28 points (7-14-7).
With international duty and injury-related absences for Saer Sene and Jerry Bengtson, Jay Heaps was forced to alter his starters at forward, opting for Diego Fagundez and Dimitry Imbongo. And it was Imbongo who stole the show, bagging one goal and helping to create the Revs' second, an own goal by Crew captain Chad Marshall.
The Revolution came out swinging, peppering Andy Gruenebaum's net with three shots in just the first 12 minutes. The first half also offered Columbus with plenty of attacking opportunities of their own, however forward Jairo Arrieta was often caught off-side and unable to connect on his teammates' passes.
The first half played out to a generally uneventful 0-0 close, but the second half had a new energy from both sides who were clearly each looking for a big result.
In the second half it was New England who attempted to strike first, with Fagundez playing Kelyn Rowe towards goal, but Rowe's shot sailed high of the net.
In the 52nd minute the Revs tried for goal again, this time through Lee Nguyen, who maneuvered through several Crew players to take a shot from outside of the area, but his shot sailed high as well.
In the next minute, however, it was newcomer Dimitry Imbongo who was the difference maker. A revolution throw-in in the attacking third found Diego Fagundez, who brought the ball into the Columbus penalty area and managed a shot on frame that deflected just off the near post. But it was Imbongo who found the rebound and buried the goal with ease, putting the Revs up 1-0.
It looked as if the Revs had their second in the 60th minute when Stephen McCarthy headed home a Nguyen free kick, but Macca was called off-side by the linesman.
But New England's second goal did come shortly thereafter, in the 74th minute-following the 100th career appearance by Chris Tierney who eneterd the game as a substitute for Fagundez-when Imbongo's pressure forced an error by Chad Marshall resulting in an own-goal for Columbus.
Some steadfast defending from the boys in blue helped the Revolution seal their first win in eleven games and play spoiler (to an extent) in the MLS Eastern Conference playoff race.
In the end, the recently faltering Revolution were able to top the surging Crew and make a statement, if only to themselves, that there's still something there-something worth fighting for. The Revs will head out on the road for their next match-up against rivals D.C. United on September 15th at RFK Stadium.