Special to CSNNE.com
By Matthew Fairburn
Foxborough, Mass -- In the 49th minute of Saturday's game between the New England Revolution's 2-1 loss to the Houston Dynamo, Dynamo forward Adam Moffat became the first opponent to score at Gillette Stadium since May 11. And there was nothing Revolution goal keeper Bobby Shuttleworth could do about it.
A loose ball popped out of the box and headed straight toward Moffat. Before the ball could hit the turf, Moffat fired a shot just underneath the crossbar and past Shuttlesworth, who didn’t see the ball until it was whizzing over his head. The goal put an end to the Revolution's 444-minute shutout streak at Gillette Stadium.
"You're not going to see a ball struck like that too many times," Shuttleworth said after the game.
Houston dominated possession in the first half and attempted five shots to New England's zero. The Dynamo's physical style of play threw the Revolution off course early.
"We just didn't start the game with the right energy or right spark that we should, "Revolution coach Jay Heaps said after the game. "It took us a little too long to get going."
Still, the Revolution managed to stay in the game by limiting the Dynamo's chances to outside shots.
But that's where Moffat is most dangerous, and after Saer Sene tied the game for the Revolution, the Houston striker delivered the deciding goal in the 78th minute with some help from the post. It was his second goal of the night and his second goal of the season.
"I'm not sure there's too much Bobby could have done on either of those," Revolution defender Chris Tierney said. "Moffat's one of the best strikers of the ball in the league."
Both Houston goals came from outside the penalty area, leaving Shuttleworth scratching his head after the game.
"I don't think you're going to see two goals like that very often," Shuttleworth concluded after re-watching the goals on his phone. "The first one's most likely going to be up for goal of the year, and the second one's coming off the post and hits me in the back and goes in. That's never happened to me before. It's a little unlucky"
The two goals matched the Dynamo's total from their previous six games entering Saturday's contest, as the club had recently snapped a 388-minute goal-less streak. But on Saturday, Houston won more contested balls, keeping the pressure on New England throughout the game and eventually come away with the win.
"Credit Houston, because I thought they came in with a great game plan," Heaps said. "But we should have been better once we realized what they were doing."
The Revolution entered the game two points behind the Dynamo for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. Tierney thinks the team may have been too aggressive in the second half with fifth place in reach.
"We knew we wanted the three points, so we pushed the numbers forward," Tierney said. "It was a little more back and forth, and I think we left some holes."