Short rest and international travel were no match for the surging New England Revolution as they dispatched the New York Red Bulls 2-1 at Gillette Stadium on Wednesday night. The victory is their sixth in a row, tying a club record.
Diego Fagundez kicked off the scoring about 90 seconds into the match with his fourth goal in as many consecutive matches, but the Red Bulls came right back through Mike Grella. Kelyn Rowe stayed hot with a second half goal to lock up the win for the hosts.
Fagundez's goal was a product of hold up play and intelligent running. Lee Nguyen bent a free kick into the box for Juan Agudelo. The big forward had to run back to meet the ball, but when he did he touched it first time wide to Fagundez. The Leominster native ripped a shot to the near post, catching Luis Robles by surprise and deflecting off the keeper and in.
The lead would not last long. Kemar Lawrence torched London Woodberry to the byline in the 6th minute and fired a low cross into the six. Jose Goncalves tried to clear but instead deflected the ball up off his crossbar, where it cannoned back to the top of the box. Grella rushed in and belted a volley into the net to make it 1-1.
Bradley Wright-Phillips was lively for the visitors, chasing down long balls and looking generally dangerous. He forced a save out of Bobby Shuttleworth in 19th that was fairly routine.
Nguyen nearly put himself on the board in the 20th minute. His free kick from about 20 yards out was on frame and beat Robles, but Dax McCarty had tracked back quickly to the near post and the diminutive midfielder cleared it off the line.
Kevin Alston made a big defensive play in the 30th minute to preserve the deadlock. New York turned a Revolution corner into a two-on-one counterattack, with Grella and Wright-Phillips bearing in on goal and only Alston standing between them and Shuttleworth. Alston held out as long as he could, but eventually made the decision to close down Grella, who had the ball. Grella tried to dribble around him, but Alston put in a last-ditch tackle to poke the ball away and stifle the attack.
New England took back the initiative in the second half and it paid off in the 65th minute. The Red Bulls failed to convincingly clear a corner, and Scott Caldwell was able to aim a volleyed pass back into the box to Kelyn Rowe, who was all alone with Ronald Zubar keeping him onside. From there, it was a simple finish for the midfielder to put the Revs back on top.
Fagundez's second big moment of the match came in the 74th minute. A Sacha Kljestan corner was met by a McCarty diving header and had Shuttleworth beat, but Fagundez cleared it off the line.
- Nguyen picked up his tenth assist of the season, since one of his assists from Sunday against Toronto was later taken away by the official scorekeepers.
- Fagundez scored in his fourth straight game, bringing his season tally up to six
- Caldwell picked up his fifth assist, further solidifying his best-ever offensive season
- The win puts the Revolution atop the Eastern Conference going into the weekend