The New England Revolution held on through two rain delays to shut out the Houston Dynamo 2-0 on Saturday night at Gillette Stadium for a crowd of 21,723 rugged fans. Overall, the two thunderstorms and jagged lightning strikes consumed two hours and 50 minutes.
With the win, the Revolution (9-9-7, 34 pts.) rose to fourth in the Eastern Conference and 10th across MLS, and are still in contention for the playoffs. The Dynamo (8-9-7, 31 pts.) fell to seventh in the Western Conference and 12th overall.
Jose Goncalves and Juan Agudelo contributed second half goals to extend New England’s unbeaten streak to four games, but first, thunderstorms dominated the game. Referee Jose Carlos Rivero suspended play in the 13th minute for lightning for one hour and 49 minutes before resuming at 9:40 p.m. But after the scoreless first half, more thunderstorms forced officials to delay the start of the second half by an additional one hour and one minute.
“Even after the first delay there were so many people there,” said head coach Jay Heaps. “The second one, you could still hear people. And the fans that finished the game were something amazing.”
Revolution fans were rewarded for sticking it out. Goncalves scored the game-winning goal in the 69th minute by volleying a left-footed shot past goalkeeper Tyler Deric to bring the score to 1-0. It was Goncalves’ first goal of the season. Agudelo scored his fifth goal of the season in the 88th minute for the final 2-0 result. Lee Nguyen assisted on that goal, his fifth of the season and 19th career. Revolution goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth only had to make two saves for his sixth shutout of the season.
Jermaine Jones returned to the starting lineup, the first time since May 31, before he underwent surgery and missed nine straight games. Daigo Kobayashi began on the bench and replaced Jones at the half.
The Revolution next visit the Philadelphia Union at PPL Park on Saturday, August 29 at 7 p.m. ET. The game will be shown locally on Comcast SportsNet and nationally on MLS LIVE. It will also be available locally on the radio, in English on 98.5 The Sports Hub and on WMVX 1570 AM Nossa Radio USA in Portuguese.
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NE – Jose Goncalves 1 (Unassisted) 69’
NE – Juan Agudelo 5 (Lee Nguyen 5) 88’
HOU – Luis Garrido (Yellow Card) 58’
HOU – David Horst (Yellow Card) 85’
New England Revolution: Bobby Shuttleworth; Jeremy Hall, Andrew Farrell, Jose Goncalves, Chris Tierney; Scott Caldwell, Jermaine Jones © (Daigo Kobayashi 46’); Kelyn Rowe (Teal Bunbury 77’), Lee Nguyen, Diego Fagundez; Charlie Davies (Juan Agudelo 59’).
Substitutes Not Used: Brad Knighton, London Woodberry, Kevin Alston, Andy Dorman.
STATS: Shots 10, Shots on target 6, Saves 2, Corner kicks 4, Offsides 1, Fouls 13, Possession 51.9%, Passes 458 (80.1%)
Houston Dynamo: Tyler Deric; Sheanon Williams, A.J. Cochran, David Horst, DaMarcus Beasley (Kofi Sarkodie 46’); Nathan Sturgis (Boniek Garcia 76’), Luis Garrido; Alex, Brad Davis ©, Giles Barnes; Will Bruin (Erick Torres 56’).
Substitutes Not Used: Joe Willis, Rasheed Olabiyi, Leonel Miranda, Mauro Manotas.
STATS: Shots 7, Shots on target 1, Saves 4, Corner kicks 2, Offsides 0, Fouls 16, Possession 48.1%, Passes 422 (80.8%)
Referee: Jose Carlos Rivero
Assistant Referees: Craig Lowry and Mark Cahen
Fourth Official: Robert Sibiga