New England Soccer Today

Revs Outgun the Galaxy

Benny Feilhaber scored an acrobatic, bicycle kick goal to open the scoring and Jeremiah White secured the game-winner as the Revolution triumphed over the Los Angeles Galaxy 3-2 during the first game of the Desert Diamond Cup on Wednesday night.

Feilhaber’s stunning shot in the second minute gave the Revolution the early advantage while John Lozano nodded New England’s next goal in the 36th minute. The Galaxy went round for round with the Revs thanks to goals from Edson Buddle in the 31st minute and a Mike Magee strike that deflected off a defender in the 38th minute. White tipped the scales in the 74th minute with a clinical finish to give the Revolution the win at Kino Veteran Stadium in Tucson, Ariz.

The Galaxy was without perennial MLS All-Star Landon Donovan, who returned from his loan spell with Everton this week, as well as Designated Player Robbie Keane, who remains on loan with Aston Villa. Even so, L.A. wasn’t left completely unarmed, as Edson Buddle and David Beckham tested the Revolution defenders at will.

On paper, the defending champions may have had the clear edge, but it was New England that surprised the Tucson crowd moments after the opening whistle. Two minutes into the match,  Feilhaber, positioned inside the box, whipped an overhead kick past Josh Saunders to put beat the L.A. to scoreboard.

The Galaxy nearly responded in the 10th minute when Buddle beat the defense and nearly buried the early equalizer before his shot sailed over and away from frame. And it wouldn’t be the last time Buddle bobbled a golden opportunity.

Minutes later, newly-signed striker Saer Sene stole a misplayed ball in the Galaxy end, then outpaced the L.A. defenders toward goal before he ripped a shot that Saunders lifted over the bar in the 18th minute.

Despite his early struggles, Buddle came back in the 31st minute. Beckham delivered a picturesque corner that the striker nodded into the net to level it at one apiece.

It didn’t stay knotted for long. From a Kelyn Rowe corner, John Lozano timed his run inside the box perfectly and steered it through to reclaim the Revolution advantage in the 36th minute.

However, that advantage didn’t last for long. In the vicinity of the New England 18, Adam Cristman played a ball over to Magee, who pounded a shot that deflected off of Darrius Barnes and left Matt Reis flat-footed as the ball casually bounced into the net in the 38th minute.

After a four-goal first half, there was every reason to believe that many more goals were in store after the interval. However, with both teams using the second half to make changes and tweaks to their respective elevens, the frequent attacks seen in the first 45 were largely absent in the sequel.

Buddle made a bid for the go-ahead in the 48th minute when he nearly slid through a Beckham free kick, but was left to ponder the possibilities.

In the 58th minute, Juninho set off a rocket from distance that forced substitute keeper Bobby Shuttleworth to lunge to right to keep the Galaxy from finding the go-ahead.

With a number of Revolution newcomers getting looks, the attack stalled inside the midfield as the passing and ideas were largley absent. That was until another newcomer – Alec Purdie – was sent in as a 74th minute substitute.

It didn’t take long for him to make an impact. In one of his first touches of the game, the Supplemental Draft pick took it toward net before deferring to White on his right, where the 29-year-old trialist ran into the area and banged it through to lift the Revolution back on top in the 74th minute.

Buddle missed two more opportunities to salvage the equalizer in the 75th and 77th minutes. But it was clear that the former MLS All-Star was not in midseason form.

Meanwhile, the Revolution defense did well to see the game through in the waning minutes, as they clinched their first win against MLS Competition during the 2012 preseason.

Revolution head coach Jay Heaps used 24 different players throughout the game, with all but four available players seeing the field against the Galaxy.

The Revolution return to action on Saturday against the New York Red Bulls for their second game of the Desert Diamond Cup. Kickoff is scheduled for 10pm ET.

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