Special to CSNNE.com
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Jose Goncalves scored his first-ever MLS goal and Diego Fagundez added an insurance tally three minutes later as the New England Revolution scored twice in stoppage time to claim a 2-0 win over the Columbus Crew Saturday night at Crew Stadium.
Deadlocked at 0-0 entering stoppage time – four minutes as added by referee Edvin Jurisevic – the Revolution (7-7-6, 27 pts.) converted a corner kick in the 91st minute. Off Lee Nguyen’s corner kick service, Goncalves headed a ball through Crew goalkeeper Andy Gruenebaum’s legs as A.J. Soares flashed in front of him, putting the Revs up 1-0.
Columbus (6-9-5, 24 pts.) tried to build out of the back for the equalizer as stoppage time wound down, but three minutes later Crew defender Chad Marshall left a lazy back pass at the edge of the Revs’ attacking third, and Nguyen pounced, sending Fagundez in on Gruenebaum alone. The 18-year-old beat the keeper – again between his legs – as he came out to cut down the angle, giving New England the final 2-0 lead. It was the teenager’s team-leading sixth goal of the season, and capped Nguyen’s second two-assist game in four matches.
The win snapped the Revs’ modest two-game losing streak, and gave the team its third win on the road this season – its most since 2009 when the team went 4-6-5 away from Gillette Stadium. The Revs are now 3-4-3 in away games this year.
The shutout was the Revolution’s 11th on the season, which set a new club record for shutouts in a season in only the 20th match – of 34 – of the year. It was also Bobby Shuttleworth’s ninth shutout of the year, the most by a single goalkeeper since Matt Reis recorded 10 in 2005, 2006 and 2007.
Goncalves’ game-winning goal in stoppage time was the team’s first injury-time game-winner since July 16, 2005 – a Taylor Twellman goal to give the Revs a 3-2 win over Dallas at Gillette Stadium.
The Revolution made significant changes to the lineup after Wednesday’s loss in Colorado. A total of six different starters were added, while one other player changed positions. Because of a head laceration suffered on Wednesday, Stephen McCarthy did not dress tonight and A.J. Soares moved into a central defender spot in his place.
In the midfield, all five positions changed. Clyde Simms came in at the holding midfielder spot, while Scott Caldwell, one of the few hold-over starters, advanced to an attacking midfielder role from his usual deeper spot. Chris Tierney, who did not travel to Colorado because of knee irritation, came on at left midfield, while Chad Barrett played wide right. Kelyn Rowe also came back to the starting lineup in a central midfield role, while Dimitry Imbongo – who was suspended last game while serving a red card suspension – replaced Jerry Bengtson up top.
The Revs had their first chance of the night in the 23rd minute when Barrett flicked a pass to Imbongo coming down the right wing. The Congo native got a clean cross through the box to a streaking, unmarked Tierney outside the far post, but the midfielder mis-hit the ball and sent his shot wide of the post.
Two minutes later, the Revolution thought they had a shout for a penalty when Imbongo got tangled with Danny O’Rourke on his turn in the box and went to ground, but Jurisevic declined to make the call.
Columbus’ Aaron Schoenfeld was forced off the field with an apparent shoulder injury in the 36th minute. He landed awkwardly after being tackled by Goncalves, forcing the Crew to make a change when Ben Speas came on for the forward. One minute later, Columbus went close when Chad Barson’s first-timer off a cleared free kick was deflected and bounded just wide of Shuttleworth’s goal.
The Revs, who narrowly trailed possession 52 percent to 48 percent in the first half, had one last chance in stoppage time to close the stanza. Imbongo drew a foul at the edge of the attacking third and Tierney’s free kick was deflected, but picked up by the Revs. Goncalves got the ball unmarked in the near corner of the box, turned and launched a low left-footed blast, but it was narrowly wide of the near post with Gruenebaum on alert.
At the break, Columbus had a 10 to four advantage in shots, but the Revs had the only shot on target – by Rowe in the ninth minute. While Shuttleworth was busy clearing traffic throughout the first half, he was not called on for a save, while Gruenebaum had one save.
With little to show for the first 13 minutes of the second half, the Revs brought in Nguyen for Simms, adding another attacking option for the final 30 minutes.
Columbus, however, had their best chance of the second half in the 66th minute when Bernardo Anor got on the end of a deep Federico Higuain free kick, but his headed ball was straight to Shuttleworth.
Dominic Oduro had a go for Columbus in the 70th minute when he got on the end of a Speas lobbed cross over the box. Oduro rushed his first-time shot and his stroke sailed high of Shuttleworth’s goal.
The Revs braced to go down a man in the 70th minute when Andrew Farrell tackled Barson and the Crew defender went flying head over feet. However, Jurisevic whistled Barson for a dive, rather than show Farrell his second yellow of the match, much to the dismay of the Crew Stadium crowd.
A number of substitutions – including Nguyen, Fagundez in the 69th minute and Toja in the 82nd minute for the Revs – opened the game up as both teams fought for the first goal as time wound down.
However, it wasn’t until stoppage time when Goncalves finally broke through the Crew’s defense that the back-and-forth nature of the final 20 minutes paid off.