New England Soccer Today

Jones Does it Again

Photo credit: Kari Heistead/

Photo credit: Kari Heistead/

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – The New England Revolution pulled out a hard-fought 2-1 victory over the Columbus Crew on Saturday night in front of 23,143 at Gillette Stadium, despite facing sloppy wet playing conditions, and a team in the midst of a playoff hunt, who already defeated the Revolution twice this season.

Lee Nguyen scored his team-high 14th goal of the season in the 20th minute, while Jermaine Jones scored in the 67th minute for his first Gillette Stadium goal.  Between those two strikes, Ethan Finley scored his third goal in the last four games to give Columbus their only goal.

The rainy conditions all afternoon provided a slick surface and the Revolution played a high-energy style of play, pressuring every Crew possession and forcing multiple turnovers on the Crew side of the field early in the game.  The Revolution were rewarded as a Crew turnover led to a Teal Bunbury cross, which was deflected to Lee Nguyen, standing alone in front of net.  With only Crew keeper Steve Clark to beat, Nguyen slid home the game’s first goal.

The high-pressure offense also left the back line with limited support and vulnerable to counter-attacks.  Only a few minutes after the Nguyen goal, Ethan Finley pushed a through-ball past Jose Goncalves and created a breakaway against Bobby Shuttleworth.  Finley netted his second goal of the year against the Revolution, tying the game at one in the 25th minute.

The game remained knotted at 1-1 until the 67th minute, when Jermaine Jones headed in his second game-winning goal in just as many weeks.  Chris Tierney assisted on a set piece, swinging a free kick from the left flank to the far side of the box, where Jones created space from his marker.

The game went from bad to worse for the Columbus Crew, who saw defender Waylon Francis given his second yellow card of the match just 3 minutes after the go-ahead goal.  With the Crew pushing forward trying to create offensive chances, Crew keeper Steve Clark rushed out of the box to clear a counter-attack led by Charlie Davies.  As Davies rushed the throw back into play, Francis stood face-to-face in front of him, to slow the play down as his keeper ran back to net.  Davies fell to the ground, and the referee booked Francis for the second time in the game, ejecting him from the game.

Despite being down a man, Columbus controlled possession in the closing minutes as the Revolution dropped players back, trying to hold their one goal lead.  Despite the Crew’s 62.9 percent possession and five shots on target in the second half, nothing got by Revolution keeper Bobby Shuttleworth in the second half.

Shuttleworth played exceptionally with six saves in the match.  Despite the pressure late in the match from the Crew’s all-out attack, Shuttleworth’s finest save of the night came early, when he stopped Aaron Schoenfield’s clear shot on goal from 5 yards away.  Revolution coach Jay Heaps said after the game that the save “pulled [a goal] back” for the Revolution and provided a boost of energy, which rewarded them a few minutes later when Lee Nguyen opened the scoring.

The win moves the Revolution into sole possession of second place, moving in front of Sporting Kansas City who drew D.C. Unit Friday night.  The win also marks the seventh win in the previous eight games for the Revolution and their fifth consecutive win at Gillette Stadium.  The Revolution hit the road for a match next Saturday in Montreal against the Impact.

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