FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Teal Bunbury scored the only goal of the game midway through the first half and goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen recorded his league-leading 10th shutout of the season as Sporting Kansas City claimed a 1-0 win over the New England Revolution on Saturday night at Gillette Stadium.
Bunbury’s goal arrived in the 20th minute when the Sporting KC forward pounced on a defensive error and calmly finished his breakaway chance to register his fourth goal of the season. Nielsen recorded three saves to make the slim margin hold up.
The loss extended New England’s (6-11-5, 23 pts.) winless run to five games (0-4-1), while Sporting KC (12-7-4, 40 pts.) snapped a three-game winless streak and vaulted back into a tie for first place in the Eastern Conference.
There were two changes on the Revolution’s backline as stalwarts Kevin Alston (L hamstring soreness) and A.J. Soares (R hamstring strain) were sidelined by injury and were replaced by Flo Lechner and Darrius Barnes, respectively. Meanwhile, forward Dimitry Imbongo made his first MLS start one week after making his MLS debut against the Philadelphia Union.
Bunbury was active from the opening whistle and had an early drive tipped over the crossbar by Revs goalkeeper Matt Reis, but Reis was unable to prevent Bunbury from breaking through in the 20th minute. After pouncing on a turnover in midfield, Bunbury raced into the box alone and drilled a low shot inside the far post.
Imbongo had the Revolution’s best chance of the first half in the 36th minute when Benny Feilhaber’s cutback pass found him open in the box, but Imbongo sent his first-time effort well over the crossbar.
After registering just one shot on target in the opening 45 minutes the Revs made a switch after the break, bringing on Fernando Cardenas in search of a spark. Cardenas was involved almost immediately as he combined with Chris Tierney to set up Imbongo for a free header in the 49th minute, but the close-range effort went high.
Both Diego Fagundez and Kelyn Rowe were brought on in the final 20 minutes as the Revs pushed forward in search of an equalizer, but their best chance – a long-distance drive from Tierney in the 86th minute – was easily handled by Nielsen.
The Revs will be home again next weekend when they host the expansion Montreal Impact for the first time at Gillette Stadium on Sunday, Aug. 12. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m., while the game will be followed by the first-ever boxing match at Gillette Stadium, headlined by local boxer and Revolution fan Danny O’Connor.
New England Revolution vs. Sporting Kansas City
August 4, 2012 – Gillette Stadium (Foxborough, Mass.)
Sporting Kansas City 1, New England Revolution 0
SKC – Teal Bunbury (unassisted) 20
New England Revolution: Matt Reis, Chris Tierney, Stephen McCarthy, Darrius Barnes, Flo Lechner (Fernando Cardenas 46), Lee Nguyen, Clyde Simms ©, Benny Feilhaber (Kelyn Rowe 78), Ryan Guy, Dimitry Imbongo (Diego Fagundez 73), Saer Sene
Substitutes Not Used: Tim Murray, Kevin Alston, Blake Brettschneider, Sainey Nyassi
STATS: Shots 10, Shots on Target 3, Corner Kicks 1, Saves 3, Fouls 12, Offsides 3, Passes Completed (percentage) 370 (77.8%), Possession 54.2%
Sporting Kansas City: Jimmy Nielsen ©, Seth Sinovic, Lawrence Olum, Matt Besler, Michael Harrington, Paulo Nagamura (Peterson Joseph 86), Julio Cesar (Michael Thomas 73), Graham Zusi, Kei Kamara, Teal Bunbury, Bobby Convey (Soony Saad 7)
Substitutes Not Used: Eric Kronberg, Korede Aiyegbusi, Kevin Ellis, Neven Markovic
STATS: Shots 13, Shots on Target 4, Corner Kicks 1, Saves 3, Fouls 21, Offsides 1, Passes Completed (percentage) 312 (60.8%), Possession 45.8%
* Note that all statistics are unofficial
NE – Ryan Guy (caution) 54
SKC – Lawrence Olum (caution) 56
NE – Benny Feilhaber (caution) 77
SKC – Matt Besler (caution) 88
Referee: Geoff Gamble
Assistant Referees: Philippe Briere, Daniel Belleau
Fourth Official: Mathieu Bourdeau
Weather: Clear and 86 degrees
New England Revolution: 6-11-5 (23 pts.)
Sporting Kansas City (12-7-4, 40 pts.)
- With the loss, Kansas City now leads the all-time, regular-season series between the two teams, 22-13-10
- The Revs are now 7-11-5 all-time against Kansas City in Foxborough, including a 3-8-5 record at Gillette Stadium
- Sporting KC captured the regular-season series victory with the win tonight and went 2-0-1 against the Revs this season… the two teams played to a 0-0 draw on July 21 while Sporting KC shut out the Revs, 3-0, in the first meeting of the season on March 17, at Livestrong Sporting Park
- The Revs were held scoreless in all three meetings against Sporting KC this season following tonight’s 1-0 loss
- The Revs are 2-2-2 in their last six meetings with Kansas City dating back to Oct. 16, 2010
- With tonight’s 1-0 result, 30 matches between New England and Kansas City have been determined by one goal or fewer … 12 games have been decided by a two-goal spread, while two matches – including the 3-0 KC victory in the meeting this season March 17– have been decided by three or more goals
- The loss extended the Revs’ winless streak to five games (0-4-1) dating back to July 14 against Toronto … the winless streak is the team’s longest of the season and is the first string of five-winless since a six-game winless streak (0-5-1) in the final six matches of the 2011 season
- The loss was just the Revs’ third loss at home this season as the team is now 5-3-3 at Gillette Stadium in 2012
- The attacking shutout for the Revs was the team’s eighth of the season and second in three games dating back to the 0-0 finish at KC on July 21 … last season, the Revs were held scoreless 10 times in the 34-game season
- Dimitry Imbongo made his first career start at forward in his second career appearance … Imbongo made his Revolution – and MLS – debuts in a substitute appearance on July 29 at Philadelphia after signing with the club on July 16
- A.J. Soares did not dress tonight due to a right hamstring strain -- his first game missed this season … Soares was the only Revolution player to start in all 21 games prior to tonight
- Flo Lechner earned his third start of the season at right back as Kevin Alston missed the match with left hamstring soreness
- Following a mid-week trade in which Shalrie Joseph was sent to Chivas USA, tonight marked the first match since April 13, 2003 that Joseph was not a member of the Revolution … Joseph was traded for Blair Gavin, Chivas USA’s natural second-round selection in the 2013 MLS SuperDraft and allocation money
- Clyde Simms wore the captain’s armband for the second consecutive game and first match following the departure of Shalrie Joseph … Simms has worn the captain’s armband in five of the last six matches dating back to July 14 against Toronto
- After using Ryan Guy as the lone striker for three straight games dating back to July 18 at Montreal, Jay Heaps used two forwards tonight … Saer Sene was joined up top by Dimitry Imbongo while Guy made the start at right wing
- Fernando Cardenas replaced Flo Lechner in the 46th minute … Cardenas moved to right wing while Ryan Guy shifted to the right back slot previously occupied by Lechner
- The Revs-Kansas City match was the second game of a special double header event at Gillette Stadium … Italian giant AC Milan defeated Honduran side Olimpia, 3-1, in the first match
- Today’s attendance of 17,592 at Gillette Stadium was a season-high through 11 home matches