New England Soccer Today

Rocky Mountain Road Win

Photo: Corbin Elliott/Prost Amerika

Photo: Corbin Elliott/Prost Amerika

The New England Revolution got their first ever win at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colo. on Saturday, defeating the Colorado Rapids, 2-0. Juan Agudelo opened the scoring with an impressive chipped volley in the 18th minute and Lee Nguyen doubled the lead in the second half off a controversial penalty kick in the 55th minute. Five saves from Revolution goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth assured the game’s 2-0 final score line.

The win is the second in a row for the Revolution (2-2-1, 7 points), who temporarily move into third in the Eastern Conference. New England hadn’t won a game in Colorado since 2002. The Rapids (0-1-3, 3 points) extend their winless streak, dating back to last season, to 18 games, tying an MLS record. Colorado is also scoreless in their last 10 hours of play.

Head coach Jay Heaps made just one change to the line-up that defeated the San Jose Earthquakes 2-1 in Foxboro last weekend. Andy Dorman came into the midfield in place of the injured Daigo Kobayashi (hamstring strain).

Both teams struggled to carve out chances early, but New England grabbed the lead in impressive fashion in the 18th minute. Kelyn Rowe picked out Agudelo making a run into the box with a cross from the right flank and Agudelo did well to hold off his defender, flick the ball into the air and then chip it over a charging Clint Irwin. Agudelo’s effort hit the crossbar and went in to give the Revolution a 1-0 lead with his first goal of the season.

Agudelo had another chance in the 41st minute, this time getting open to get a head to a Chris Tierney cross. Agudelo’s header, however, was bounced off the pitch and went high of the net.

A minute later, the Rapids had their best chance of the match as a great ball from Juan Ramirez played Dillon Powers into the box. Powers ran in on goal and attempted a left footed shot from near the penalty spot, but goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth was quick off his line and managed to tip it high of the net.

A sloppy start to the second half saw the Rapids on the front foot early. In the 52nd minute, Shuttleworth was called on again to preserve the lead after Michael Harrington found Marcelo Sarvas with a cross from the right flank. Shuttleworth got just enough on it to tip it over the bar.

But New England would double the lead in the 55th minute after Charlie Davies earned a penalty kick when he went down in the box under pressure from Jared Watts. Lee Nguyen stepped up and converted the penalty for his first goal of the season.

Three minutes later the Rapids were denied a penalty kick of their own when a foul in the Revolution box after a Rapids shot hit the post seemed to be initially called, but then was taken back due to an offside, even though the offside player was uninvolved in the play. Rapids head coach Pablo Mastroeni  was sent off for arguing with referee Fotis Bazakos in the aftermath

The Rapids had another chance in the 72nd minute through substitute Dominique Badji as he turned on Andrew Farrell, but his shot rolled wide of the near post.

The Rapids came close again in the 79th minute after Shuttleworth failed to get to a Rapids corner kick, but Bobby Burling headed his shot off the post. The ball came back into play and Shuttleworth mishandled Burling’s weak follow-up effort, sending it wide of the net.

From there the Revolution saw off the match to get their first road victory of 2015.

New England returns home to face the Columbus Crew on Saturday, April 11, at 3 p.m.

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