FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Heading to a team which had lost eight games in a row, it was the Colorado Rapids who emerged defeated as the New England Revolution hurled the monkey off their back with a 3-0 victory at Gillette Stadium on Wednesday night.
Two second-half goals – just three minutes apart – by Lee Nguyen and Kelyn Rowe put New England in the most comfortable position they have enjoyed in over two months.
In a gritty first half, the Revolution controlled the pace of play, owning 58 percent of the possession and most importantly, striking first for the first time since their last win back on May 24.
The Revs tallied in the 10th minute when Charlie Davies held up the ball in the Rapids penalty box with pressure on his back and found Nguyen cutting across. The Revs midfielder created some open space to fire, shooting towards the far post – but finding the foot of Rapids defender Drew Moor, and the resulting deflection put New England on the board.
Whenever Colorado were able to spark a break on the attack, they were caught offside, with Gabriel Torres called for four of the club’s five infractions.
The Rapids had their best chance to level in the 69th minute after Edson Buddle laid off a pass in the box back to Dillon Powers, who ripped a shot from 18 yards out. But Bobby Shuttleworth made a diving save to keep the lead secure.
Not long after, Rapids defender Thomas Piermayr picked up his second booking of the match after a hard challenge on Steve Neumann, giving Nguyen a free kick from the top of the box that he buried with a bending blast into the top corner for a 2-0 lead in the 75th minute.
Moments later Kelyn Rowe received a pass from Nguyen, dribbled right into the box and snapped a high shot past Irwin for his first goal of the season, icing the win.
Next up for the Rapids is a home game with Real Salt Lake and the second of three matches to determine the Rocky Mountain Cup.
MLSsoccer.com Men of the Match
|Rank||Player||What We Saw|
Brilliant on the ball all night. Created New England's first two goals and finally got their pass-happy midfield purring again.
|2||Kelyn Rowe||Played Nguyen's sidekick very effectively and showed a striker's touch on his snap finish, which provided a welcome boost of confidence.|
|3||Clint Irwin||Left out to dry by his defense in the end, but made a few saves that kept the sluggish Rapids close until the final stages.|