Lee Nguyen and Jerry Bengtson scored first half goals to give the New England Revolution a 2-0 win over the New York Red Bulls in Saturday’s Desert Diamond Cup consolation game.
Nguyen struck from the spot inside of four minutes, while Bengtson added an insurance tally in the 36th minute. Matt Reis denied the Red Bulls on multiple occasions to earn the clean sheet.
New York collected a number of first half chances, but had nothing to show for it. The same could not be said for New England.
In the fourth minute, Nguyen broke into the box before Jamison Olave cut him down, and a penalty was called. Moments later, Nguyen scored his second goal of the preseason – both from the spot – and allowed his club to make an early appearance on the scoreboard.
Thierry Henry menaced the Revolution defense all night. In the 11th minute, the Frenchman beat Reis, but the shot ricocheted off the right post.
While Henry and his teammates aimed to level it, Nguyen was called upon to play the hero again in the 28th minute. With a Tim Cahill shot ready to break the plane, Nguyen vanquished the effort right off the line.
Holding a lead that was becoming more tenuous by the moment, Bengtson gave his teammates some breathing room less than 10 minutes from the interval. His initial shot denied by Robles, the Honduran striker followed up his shot and buried it to make it a two-goal lead.
During the second half, the Red Bulls regularly paraded into the Revolution end, looking to force themselves into a favorable opportunity.
At the hour mark, Olave looked for redemption when he found a shot inside the area that veered over the bar.
Six minutes later, noted Revolution tormentor Fabian Espindola weaved through the 18 but Reis plugged the breach to keep the Red Bulls off the board.
In the 81st minute, Henry shouted for a handball after he claimed his corner kick hit Clyde Simms on the hand, but the referee refused to oblige.
From there, Reis ensured that that scoreline wouldn’t budge when he denied Juninho on a free kick in 83rd, then tipped an Espindola effort over the bar in the 88th minute.
With the win, the Revolution conclude the preseason with a 2-3-1 record. After a first week bye, they’ll kick off their regular season schedule in Chicago on Mar. 9.
Notes: Re-entry pick Chad Barrett made his preseason debut in the 83rd minute when he came on for Diego Fagundez…Stephen McCarthy got the nod next to Jose Goncalves in the heart of the defense, while A.J. Soares was stationed at right back…First overall pick Andrew Farrell and Kevin Alston were both held out of action for “precautionary reasons”…Nguyen and Bengtson’s goals gave them a share of the club lead in the preseason goal tally, with two apiece…Both of the Revolution’s preseason wins came against the Red Bulls…Midfielder Juan Toja went 57 minutes in today’s match, his longest stretch of play during the preseason….