It took five tries, but the New England Revolution have secured their first win of the 2016 campaign, as they bested the New York Red Bulls 1-0 on Friday night. Diego Fagundez played hero on the night, scoring the game’s sole tally in the 55th minute.
The Revs and Red Bulls traded shots in the early going but failed to find a goal. In the 4th minute, Juan Agudelo attempted an audacious 40-yard chip that almost caught Luis Robles off his line. Sal Zizzo took a crack at the opposite goal in the 21st minute but was denied by Bobby Shuttleworth.
Despite 11 total shots, both teams entered the locker room even at 0-0.
The Revs looked determined to end the deadlock after the break and had a prime opportunity to do so in the 52nd minute. Kelyn Rowe played instigator when he offered a cross from the left flank. Teal Bunbury connected with a header but Luis Robles made the diving save.
The Red Bulls goalkeeper wouldn’t be so fortunate in the 55th minute when Fagundez scored on an open net. Agudelo was credited with the assist, which marked his first time on the scoresheet this season.
The goal was shrouded in controversy, however, as defender Kemar Lawrence was on the ground injured and kept Agudelo onside. Lawrence would be stretched off the field before play resumed, with Chris Duvall serving as his replacement.
Things went from bad to worse for the visitors when Felipe was shown a red card in the 61st minute for stepping on Kelyn Rowe’s ankle. The card gave the Revs a man advantage for the first time this season.
Up a goal and a man, the Revs needed a pair of Shuttleworth saves to seal the three points. The first came in the 81st minute when the netminder blocked a close-range shot. Four minutes later, Shuttleworth was called into action once again, this time stopping a header. Bradley Wright-Phillips was the attacker in both instances.
After six minutes of stoppage time, the final whistle blew, giving the Revs full points. The team will now return to the practice field before welcoming Toronto FC next Saturday. Kickoff is set for 4 p.m.