New England Soccer Today

Revolution Defeat Fire, End Winless Run

Photo credit: Chris Aduama/

Photo credit: Chris Aduama/

FOXBOROUGH, Mass – Diego Fagundez and Charlie Davies scored two minutes apart early in the second half to give the New England Revolution a 2-0 win over the Chicago Fire, ending the Revolution’s six game winless run in front of 15,775 at Gillette Stadium on Saturday night. After a fairly dull first half, the Revolution sparked to life in the second with a Fagundez volley from outside the box giving New England a 48th minute lead that Davies would double with a header two minutes later.

“[The three points were] so important,” said Davies. “We’re playing at home against not a full powered Chicago Fire. They’re missing two big Designated Players and we have to take advantage of a team like that. It’s fortunate for us that we could catch them when they’re most vulnerable and we were able to do that today. We really needed to get back on track and what better way to get back on track before a really tough schedule ahead of us.”

The win leaves the Revolution (6-4-6, 24 points) alone in second place in the Eastern Conference and extends their home unbeaten run to 19 games. The Fire (4-8-2, 14 points) are tied for last place in the East.

“These are Eastern Conference matches so the points are important,” said Revolution head coach Jay Heaps. “Even though the game didn’t go our way early, we felt that there was a goal in this game for us and we pushed hard for it and I thought our reaction after halftime was really good.”

Heaps made one change to the team that fell 2-0 at Portland Timbers last weekend with Fagundez getting the start over Kelyn Rowe.

Davies had New England’s first shot in the 7th minute and Harry Shipp had the Fire’s first chance in the 13th minute, but neither was able to put a shot on net until Fagundez in the 18th. Fagundez got the ball from Scott Caldwell on the left, cut in towards the box and hit a low shot from just outside the 18, but goalkeeper Jon Busch was there to make the save.

Chicago’s best early attack came in the 24th minute as the put the Revolution under a long spell of pressure. Kennedy Igboananike had a shot blocked, and another effort denied by Shuttleworth, while Adailton and Jeff Larentowicz also were denied on opportunities.

The Revolution earned a dangerous free kick in the 33rd minute when Bunbury was fouled outside the box on the right side by Adailton, who received a yellow card on the play. Chris Tierney took the set piece and curled a shot over the wall that beat a diving Busch, but went just wide of the near post.

Chicago gained more possession as the half went on and caused Shuttleworth some problems in first half stoppage time, as he was unable to control Guly’s shot from distance at the near post. The Revolution defense, however, was able to clear, sending the sides into halftime tied at 0-0.

According to Davies, Heaps used the break to tell his team “don’t come back in here, unless we have three points.”

The team responded. Davies had an opportunity for the home side and gave an early warning of what was to come shortly after the break when Lee Nguyen found him in space on the left flank. Davies ran forward and cut into the box before hitting a shot on frame, but Busch was well positioned to make the save.

The Revolution grabbed the lead in the 48th minute when a Chris Tierney corner kick was deflected to just outside the box. The ball came to Fagundez who hit an impressive volley past Busch to make it 1-0 with his second goal of the season. Fagundez was making his 100th appearance in the match, becoming the youngest player with that many appearances in MLS.

“I see [Andy] Dorman making a hard run near post, so I just said I’m going to stay back, top of the 18,” said Fagundez. “Once the ball was lobbed up the first thing I said, I have to hit this toward goal. I think everyone was thinking ‘no, no, no don’t shot this,’ but in my head I said I need to make sure it’s on target and once I shot that it felt great and I saw that ball go in the back of the net.”

Two minutes later New England doubled their lead through Davies. Nguyen played a cross that Fagundez chested back to Bunbury. Bunbury hit a ball that appeared to be a shot towards the far post that Davies headed in to give the Revolution a 2-0 lead. The goal was Davies’ sixth of the year.

“Teal had a great pass,” said Davies. “I was able to just redirect it. You have to be ready for opportunities like that and thankfully I was. It was a goal we needed to give us a little bit more breathing room.”

The Fire struggled to find chances in the half until the 78th when Eric Gehrig sent in a dangerous cross. A late run from Jason Johnson caught the defense off guard and the Fire substitute directed a header towards goal that deflected off a Revolution defender and went out for a corner.

Four minutes later the Fire had some more pressure that ended with a Shipp shot from just outside the box that was well saved by Shuttleworth.

The Revolution had a late chance to add to their lead in the 89th minute when the ball got to Tierney off a short corner. Tierney directed a low shot on frame from outside the box that a diving Busch got just enough on to push wide.

Shuttleworth than preserved the shutout and secured the win in the 90th minute when Gehrig again got a dangerous cross from the right flank that found Johnson. Johnson powered a header on frame, but Shuttleworth came up big to make the save.

The Revolution begins U.S. Open Cup play on Wednesday, June 17, against the Charlotte Independence in Cambridge, Mass. at Harvard’s Soldiers Field soccer stadium. The team then returns to MLS play to face D.C. United at RFK Stadium on Saturday, June 17.

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