New England Soccer Today

Revs Overtake Shaky Quakes

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Saer Sene and Dimitry Imbongo scored on either side of halftime to lead the New England Revolution to a 2-0 victory over the San Jose Earthquakes in front of 13,732 at Gillette Stadium on Saturday night. The win temporarily lifted the Revolution into playoff positioning at the halfway point of the team’s season.

After a slow start to the match, Sene opened the scoring with a rocket from distance in the 13th minute and the Revolution took control from there, limiting a depleted San Jose to just one shot (off target) in the first half. San Jose had a few chances on the counter attack in the second half before substitute Dimitry Imbongo slotted in a cross from Lee Nguyen to secure the win in the 78th minute.

“[We had a] good start to the match,” said head coach Jay Heaps. “I felt we did well to start the game and it was one of those where I thought we were defensively sound, but we weren’t as good as we can be offensively. We were able to score a couple of nice goals. For us, we needed to get home, get some points and we can move onto the next game, but it was important that we got three points tonight.”

New England (6-5-6, 24 points) temporarily moved up to fifth place with the win, but would fall back to sixth after the Houston Dynamo defeated the Philadelphia later in the night. The Revolution, who hold a game in hand against the Dynamo, host Houston next Saturday.

“Going forward we know that we can play against anyone home or away,” said Revolution midfielder Lee Nguyen. “We have to have the belief going into every game now, knowing that we are definitely a playoff team.”

The Revolution had their first opportunity in just the second minute when a Stephen McCarthy long ball found Sene, who held off a defender and turned into the box. Sene hit a low shot on frame, but under pressure, it was too weak to trouble goalkeeper Jon Busch.

Sene wouldn’t leave the keeper any chance as he put the team in the lead in the 13th minute. Sene first got the ball from Diego Fagundez and cut in before launching a shot on frame that Busch could only punch out. The rebound fell to Chris Tierney, when headed it to Lee Nguyen. Nguyen then sent a square pass to Sene who blasted a shot from 25 yards past Busch to make it 1-0.

“I like to shoot from far away,” said Sene. “I don’t like to think too much. When I am on the field, I am trying stuff and I’m happy that tonight was successful. “

A couple minutes later the Revolution were on the attack again with a long shot from Nguyen that Busch again was only able to parry away, but the ‘Quakes managed to clear.

The home team should’ve doubled their lead in the 20th minute when Chad Barrett – making his first start since March 23rd – broke into the box off a pass from Fagundez. Barrett beat his man to the endline and tried to find Fagundez with a pass across goal, but his effort wasn’t accurate enough to find the open Fagundez for what would’ve been an easy tap-in.

Barrett would have another chance in the 28th minute when Scott Caldwell played him between the defense with a perfectly placed pass. Barrett ran in on goal and curled an effort around Busch that went just wide of the far post and just out of reach of an onrushing Fagundez.

Andrew Farrell continued the offensive onslaught in the 34th minute when Kelyn Rowe played him into the right side of the box. The rookie defender stormed forward and hit a low shot on frame that Jon Busch was just able to keep out with a deflection off his feet.

New England then put pressure on the visitors right off the second half kickoff with Nguyen hitting a low shot from outside of the box, just wide into the side netting.

“We talked about it at halftime, that we couldn’t leave them hanging around because they’ve proven they can score and the way that their game is, they’re always trying to get balls in the box and things happen,” said Revolution defender Chris Tierney. “We would have liked to get one a little bit earlier. I think we knew that the second goal was going to kill the game.”

The Revolution had another opportunity in the 58th minute when a cross from Chris Tierney on the left flank was deflected to Barrett in the right side of the box. Barrett blasted a shot, but it was wide of the target and hit into the side netting.

San Jose finally tested Revolution ‘keeper Bobby Shuttleworth in the 70th minute with a longshot from 30 yards. The shot from Same Cronin was right at Shuttleworth, who struggled a bit to hold the shot, but made the save.

The visitors then had their best chance of the match in the 75th minute when Shea Salinas made a dangerous, mazy run through the box before sending a pass across goal to Adam Jahn, just yards from the net. Jahn mishit his close range shot allowing the Revolution to clear.

Three minutes later substitute Dimitry Imbongo would make the ‘Quakes pay for their wastefulness, doubling the Revolution’s lead when Kelyn Rowe played a pass from the right flank to Nguyen. Nguyen sent a low cross in front of goal where Imbongo slid in to tap it into the net.

“I’m happy today to score and I’m happy that my friend Saer Sene scored too,” said Imbongo. “I’m happy that the coach gave me the chance to prove to everybody that I can score.”

A minute later Imbongo nearly added to his tally when he powered a header on frame at the far post off a Rowe cross. Busch got just enough on it to keep the shot out.

San Jose almost grabbed one back in the 89th minute when Brad Ring got forward to attempt a bicycle kick off a deflected corner kick from Salinas. Ring’s effort from near the penalty spot landed just wide of the post.

That was the last opportunity for the Quakes as the Revolution grabbed their 10th shutout of the season and extended their home unbeaten run to five games.

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