In 2014, the winless Revs went to San Jose in search of their first win and came away with three points thanks to a lucky deflection.
2015 would be no different, as Kelyn Rowe scored twice including a deflected shot in the 21st minute to open the scoring as the New England Revolution defeated the San Jose Earthquakes 2-1 from a snowy Gillette Stadium.
The first half was the most dominant half of play the Revs have had in 2015. Using a high line and pressuring San Jose in their own half, the Revs were able to keep the ball largely in the Quakes half. This led to several early chances and kept Quakes keeper on his toes early, but he could do nothing to stop the Revs first goal.
Daigo Kobayashi intercepted a pass near midfield and started a counter attack, dribbling forward before finding Lee Nguyen on the right flank. Lee cut it back to a wide open Rowe at the top of the area and he unleashed a shot that took a deflection away from a helpless David Bingham. That goal ended a 291 goalless minutes streak for New England to start 2015.
The second goal was also a product of high pressure, as the Revs trapped the Quakes deep in their own corner and earned a free kick when Sanna Nyassi was whistled for handball while trying to trap the ball off his chest. Chris Tierney whipped in a wonder set piece that was nodded down by Darrius Barnes in front of goal and Rowe was there to redirect in front of a sprawling Bingham for his and the Revs second goal of the game and 2-0 lead which the Revs would carry into halftime.
But this was also a game of squandered chances for the Revs, as they dominated the offensive end by out shooting the Quakes 20-11 in total and 8-5 on target. Some of that is to San Jose's credit, who blocked four shots on the night and came up strong with some desperate defending at times to keep themselves in the game. As the Revs looked to put the game away, they also put San Jose back in it.
Scott Caldwell tripped up Clarence Goodson just inside the area in the 61st minute as the Quakes defender was turning away from goal but there was no doubt that Jose Carlos Rivera got this one right as he pointed to the spot. Chris Wondolowski stepped up and slotted the spot kick home sending Bobby Shuttleworth the wrong way in the process.
It would be the Revs only real blemish until the final moments as San Jose pressed forward for an equalizer but there were several times the Revs could have put the game away. Lee Nguyen was thwarted on several occasions by either having his shot block or being closed down and having to pass as well as a breakaway chance where he over hit is dribble and allowed Bingham to cover the ball. Charlie Davies also had a few chances when he was played in behind the defense as well as late subs Steve Neumann and Sean Okoli.
In the end a late flurry from San Jose which included a couple of corner kicks and Bobby Shuttleworth tipping a header over the bar was not enough to tie the game. Jean-Baptiste Pierazzi's late flick in the closing moments went well over the Revs goal and on the ensuing goal kick Rivera signaled full time.
The win gives the Revolution four points on the season with a 1-2-1 record and sit in fourth place in the Eastern Conference though they've played a conference high four games with their early kickoff today.
New England travels to play at the Colorado Rapids next week, April 4 at 7PM EST.