HOUSTON, Texas – Shalrie Joseph and Kheli Dube scored either side of halftime and the New England Revolution snapped an 11-game road winless run with a 2-1 victory over the Houston Dynamo on Sunday night at Robertson Stadium.
The win was the Revolution’s (8-15-5, 29 pts.) first away from home since a 2-0 win over D.C. United on April 3, while it also ended the club’s overall winless run at five games (0-3-2) dating back to early September. It was the sixth home loss of the season for the Dynamo (7-15-6, 27 pts.), which had lost just one game at Robertson Stadium in each of its last two full seasons.
Joseph opened the scoring with his third goal of the season in the 43rd minute, while Dominic Oduro equalized for the Dynamo in the 59th minute. That set the stage for Dube, who scored his third goal in three career appearances in Houston in the 73rd minute to give the Revs the win and a massive morale boost.
Although it was the Revolution’s first road win in more than six months, remarkably it continued the club’s dominance in Houston, where the Revs are 4-0-1 in five matches since the Dynamo joined the league in 2006.
Kevin Alston missed his second straight game with a left hamstring strain, while both Kenny Mansally and Sainey Nyassi were unavailable after representing Gambia in an Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Burkina Faso on Saturday.
Partly because of the absences of Mansally and Nyassi, head coach Steve Nicol made four changes to the Revolution lineup which suffered a 2-1 loss to Real Salt Lake last weekend. Khano Smith and Dube filled the wide roles left vacant by the Gambians, while goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth earned his third start of the season between the pipes and Cory Gibbs returned from a right hip infection to fill his usual role in central defense.
Houston had a golden chance to take the lead in the seventh minute when Emmanuel Osei failed to connect on a clearance attempt, providing the chance for Cam Weaver to burst into the left side of the box. Darrius Barnes slid across the box to cover, however, blocking Weaver’s attempted shot and allowing Shuttleworth to pounce on the loose ball.
The Revs controlled the tempo through much of the early stages but created only a series of half-chances, while the Dynamo threatened against the run of play once again in the 28th minute. Pat Phelan’s crunching tackle on Geoff Cameron earned the Revs midfielder a yellow card – and a suspension for next weekend’s home finale against the Kansas City Wizards – and Brad Davis curled the ensuing free kick over the wall but narrowly missed the upper left corner.
Buoyed by the opportunity, Houston began to press the initiative and Shuttleworth was called into action to stop Cameron’s tight-angle drive in the 34th minute.
Despite the Dynamo’s increasing pressure, it was the Revolution which grabbed the lead with a goal just two minutes before halftime. Osei’s hopeful lob into the box caught the Houston backline sleeping and Joseph ghosted in behind as the defenders looked in vain for an offside call. Joseph’s first touch pushed him into the right side of the box, but he recovered and slipped a shot under Houston goalkeeper Pat Onstad as he rushed off his line.
That wasn’t the end of the first-half action, however, as Shuttleworth was forced into a remarkable save to preserve the Revolution’s lead going into the halftime break. Oduro latched onto a bouncing ball in the box and unleashed a fierce volley from close range, but Shuttleworth got his hands up and powerfully pushed the ball to safety.
Houston continued to force the initiative after the break and Lovel Palmer came close in the 51st minute, but his looping header from Oduro’s cross dropped harmlessly over the bar.
It took just eight more minutes for the Dynamo to finally make the breakthrough, however, as Oduro coolly dispatched a back-post volley from Richard Mulrooney’s right-wing cross. It was Oduro’s fifth goal of the season and the shot was placed low inside the far post, giving Shuttleworth no chance.
The score only remained level for 14 minutes, however, as New England regained the lead in the 73rd minute when Dube notched his second goal of the season. Ilija Stolica did the hard work to steal the ball off Dynamo defender Ryan Cochrane in the corner of the box, and then played a perfect square pass into space for Dube. The Zimbabwean made no mistake with his effort, slotting his shot back across the face of goal and inside the far post.
Houston’s best chance to equalize arrived in the 85th minute when Palmer unleashed a low drive from 30 yards, but Shuttleworth dove full stretch to his right to make the save.
Unable to claw back into the game, the Dynamo let its frustration show in stoppage time as both Joseph Ngwenya and Cameron were shown straight red cards for harsh challenges, reducing the hosts to nine men by the time the final whistle sounded.
Next up for the Revs is their 2010 home finale against the Kansas City Wizards on Saturday, Oct. 16. Kickoff from Gillette Stadium is set for 8 p.m. ET.
New England Revolution at Houston Dynamo
October 10, 2010 – Robertson Stadium (Houston, Texas)
NE – Shalrie Joseph (Emmanuel Osei) 43
HOU – Dominic Oduro (Richard Mulrooney, Corey Ashe) 59
NE – Kheli Dube (Ilija Stolica) 73
New England Revolution: Bobby Shuttleworth, Chris Tierney, Cory Gibbs, Darrius Barnes, Emmanuel Osei, Khano Smith, Pat Phelan, Shalrie Joseph ©, Kheli Dube (Seth Sinovic 89), Marko Perovic (Zack Schilawski 63), Ilija Stolica (Jason Griffiths 95+),
Substitutes Not Used: Matt Reis
STATS: Shots: 8; Shots on Goal: 3; Saves: 6; Corner Kicks: 7; Offside: 4; Fouls Committed: 11
Houston Dynamo: Pat Onstad, Richard Mulrooney (Mike Chabala 74), Ryan Cochrane (Danny Cruz 74), Adrian Serioux, Andrew Hainault, Corey Ashe, Geoff Cameron, Lovel Palmer, Brad Davis, Cam Weaver (Joseph Ngwenya 79), Dominic Oduro
Substitutes Not Used: Tyler Deric, Samuel Appiah, Bobby Boswell, Eddie Robinson
STATS: Shots: 13; Shots on Goal: 7; Saves: 1; Corner Kicks: 5; Offside: 4; Fouls Committed: 15
NE – Pat Phelan (caution) 26
NE – Cory Gibbs (caution) 40
HOU – Cam Weaver (caution) 41
HOU – Ryan Cochrane (caution) 44
HOU – Adrian Serioux (caution) 50
HOU – Geoff Cameron (caution) 79
NE – Darrius Barnes (caution) 83
HOU – Joseph Ngwenya (ejection) 93+
HOU – Geoff Cameron (ejection) 97+
Referee: Mark Geiger
Referee’s Assistants: Hector Vergara, Steven Taylor
Fourth Official: Jasen Anno
Weather: Partly cloudy, 82 degrees
- With the win, the Revs remained undefeated in Houston, pushing their record to 4-0-1 all-time since the Dynamo entered the league in 2006.
- The win also snapped the Revs’ 11-game winless streak on the road that dated back to April 17 at San Jose (2-0 loss) … New England’s last win on the road prior to tonight came on April 3 at D.C. (2-0 win).
- The Revs traveled just 15 players to Houston, and had a bench of three field players – all of whom who saw the field.
- The Revs were without both Kenny Mansally and Sainey Nyassi, who missed the game after being called up to the Gambia National Team for its Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Burkina Faso on Saturday … the duo was scheduled to begin the trek back to Boston on Sunday.
- Bobby Shuttleworth made his third start of the season and his MLS career … this was his second win on the season and the second of his career … tonight’s win, however, was his first win that he played all 90 minutes between the pipes … his previous win came on May 29 when he came on as a substitute for Preston Burpo against New York, and the team earned a 3-2 come-from-behind win at Gillette Stadium.
- Sunday’s game marked the first time that a Revolution goalkeeper other than Matt Reis played against the Dynamo since the team came into MLS in 2006 … Reis had made each of the previous seven appearances – including two MLS Cups and SuperLiga – against Houston.
- By picking up their cautions in tonight’s game, both Pat Phelan and Cory Gibbs will miss next Saturday’s game against Kansas City while serving a one-game yellow-card accumulation suspension.
- Shalrie Joseph’s goal was his third of the season and the 27th on his career
- Kheli Dube’s goal was his second of the season … his last goal came on Sept. 4 against Seattle when he also started at right midfield in Sainey Nyassi’s absence because of international duty … both of his goals have come while playing the right wing this season.
- Ilija Stolica picked up his second assist of the season … his other assist also came on Sept. 4 against Seattle, and also on Kheli Dube’s goal.
- Sunday’s win against Houston was the Revs’ fourth win against a Western Conference opponent … after completing all 15 games against the West, New England finished the 2010 season 4-9-3 against the West.
- The team’s two goals marked the fourth time this season the Revs scored two or more goals on the road, and the second-consecutive match in a row with the last time coming on Sept. 22 at Dallas.
- With his start and Sainey Nyassi’s absence while with Gambia for an international match, Pat Phelan moved into the team’s lead for appearances with 27.
- This was the second game this season in which the Revs’ opponent was shown two red cards … the last time it happened was May 29 against New York when Carlos Mendes and Roy Miller were both ejected.