New England Soccer Today

Victory in H-Town

HOUSTON, Tex. – As the New England Revolution (8-15-5, 29 points) blew yet another first half lead, it looked like a second half collapse was in the cards for a team that has struggled to put together a 90 minute performance all season. That wasn’t the case this time as Ilija Stolica created something from nothing and set up Kheli Dube for the game winning goal against the Houston Dynamo (7-15-6, 27 points) in the 73rd minute, giving the Revs a 2-1 victory.

Kheli Dube scored the game winner for the Revs on Sunday. (Photo by CHRIS ADUAMA/

Stolica chased down what seemed like a lost cause, relentlessly pursuing Ryan Cochrane until the defender turned over the ball. The Serbian striker then calmly held the ball until an onrushing Dube approached the box. Stolica then sent a pass through the box where Dube, in space, took it in stride and powered a shot past Dynamo ‘keeper Pat Onstad to the far post to give the Revs the 2-1 lead.

Shalrie Joseph first put the Revs in the lead in the 43rd minute. The Revolution captain got on the end of a well weighted lobbed through pass from Emmanuel Osei. Joseph did well to bring the ball down, but his touch put him in a tight spot. Joseph, however, made no mistake and calmly slotted it through the legs of Onstad for his third goal of the season.

Houston found the equalizer in the 59th minute through Dominic Oduro. Richard Mulrooney found space on the right flank and sent a driven cross into the box where an unmarked Oduro collected it at the far post. Oduro powered a driven shot past Revs ‘keeper Bobby Shuttleworth to knot the score at 1-1.

Revolution head coach Steve Nicol had to make several changes to his line-up due to injuries and the international call-ups. Khano Smith and Dube got the starts at left and right midfield, respectively in the absences of Kenny Mansally and Sainey Nyassi, while Chris Tierney, Darrius Barnes, Cory Gibbs and Osei started across the backline. Marko Perovic and Stolica started up top again, while Joseph and Pat Phelan continued their partnership in the center of the midfield.

One change Nicol made by choice rather than necessity was starting second year ‘keeper Shuttleworth over veteran Matt Reis. Shuttleworth made several key saves throughout the night to help the Revs secure the victory

The Revs were under some early pressure when Osei failed to clear a cross in the 7th minute only for it to fall for Cam Weaver. Weaver then beat Osei, but his effort was deflected by Barnes and then collected by Shuttleworth.

Stolica had an early chance for the Revs in the 12th minute after Joseph found him in the box. Stolica was being held by his defender and sent his shot wide of the far post.

Shuttleworth preserved the Revs lead going into halftime with a brilliant reaction save off a shot from Dominic Oduro. The Revolution defense failed to deal with a header into the box and Oduro latched onto it before blasting an effort on frame that Shuttleworth impressively managed to tip wide with a diving save.

Oduro, who was a threat for the Dynamo all day created a chance for Houston in the 51st minute. The speedy forward got to the endline under pressure and sent a dangerous cross into the box. Osei looked in position to win the header, but Lovel Palmer rose above him to get a head to the ball.  Palmer’s header went just high of the net.

After getting the equalizer for Houston, Oduro had a chance for his second goal of the night in the 66th minute after Palmer played him behind the defense with a through ball. Oduro blasted a shot from the top of the box on frame, but Shuttleworth managed to tip it high of the net.

It was the Revs who then found the eventual winner against the run of play and Houston helped assure the visitors would have an easy time of it from there on, picking up two red cards at the end of the game. Joseph Ngwenya received a straight red card in stoppage time for a reckless challenge on Gibbs, while Geoff Cameron was ejected for shoving Phelan to the ground soon after.

The win was just the Revs second on the road all season, improving their road record to 2-10-2. The Revs also improved their all-time record in Houston to 4-0-1.

The Revs return home next Saturday where they will take on the Kansas City Wizards at 8 p.m.

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