HOUSTON, Texas – A pair of late goals from Houston Dynamo midfielders Ricardo Clark and Boniek Garcia sent the New England Revolution to a 2-0 loss on Saturday night in the club’s first-ever visit to BBVA Compass Stadium.
Brian Ching came off the bench to help set up both goals, picking up the secondary assists on Clark’s opener in the 77th minute and Garcia’s insurance strike deep into stoppage time. Both goals were generated from right-wing crosses as Clark finished a low feed from Brad Davis and Garcia volleyed home a looping cross from Warren Creavalle.
The win kept Houston (13-8-10, 49 pts.) in the fifth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, one point ahead of the Columbus Crew with three games remaining. For New England (7-16-8, 29 pts.), it was a fifth consecutive road loss.
Benny Feilhaber returned to the Revolution’s starting lineup for the first time since Sept. 1 as one of four changes to the squad which played to a 1-1 draw with the New York Red Bulls last weekend, but goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth retained his spot between the pipes for a second straight game.
Feilhaber had the game’s first real chance in the 18th minute when he curled a 25-yard free kick over the wall and toward the upper left corner, forcing Dynamo goalkeeper Tally Hall into a quality save. Moments later Darrius Barnes had a bid but couldn’t control Dimitry Imbongo’s volley across the face of goal, while Imbongo’s immediate follow-up was cleared away.
The majority of the chances continued to come from distance in a relatively uneventful first half, with Hall making a pair of simple saves on efforts from Imbongo and Clyde Simms, and Shuttleworth diving to his left to stop a low drive from Calen Carr.
Carr threatened again in the 58th minute when he was played into the right side of the box but his shot flashed high and wide of the near upper corner. One minute later Jerry Bengtson went close with a header at the other end, bouncing an effort wide of the right post from Fernando Cardenas’ left-wing cross.
Shuttleworth produced a stunning save in the 73rd minute to temporarily keep the game scoreless. Ching’s clever pass sent Will Bruin into the left side of the box and the Dynamo forward cut inside to open up space for a shot. Bruin’s low effort was headed inside the far post but Shuttleworth reacted quickly to push the shot wide.
There was nothing the Revs goalkeeper could do in the 77th minute, however, as Clark finally broke the deadlock with a deft finish. Ching put Davis down the right channel and the Houston winger delivered a cross with his weaker foot. Clark got the slightest of touches on the cross, guiding the ball off the far post and into the back of the net.
Shuttleworth came up with a string of fine saves as the Dynamo poured on the pressure after the opener but the home side eventually produced a second in stoppage time. Ching sent Creavalle down the right wing and the defender’s looping cross reached Garcia at the back post, where the Honduran finished with a sumptuous full volley.
The Revs will be on the road again next weekend when they head to PPL Park for a meeting with the Philadelphia Union on Saturday, Oct. 6.
New England Revolution at Houston Dynamo
September 29, 2012 – BBVA Compass Stadium (Houston, Texas)
Houston Dynamo 2, New England Revolution 0
HOU – Ricardo Clark (Brad Davis, Brian Ching) 77
HOU – Boniek Garcia (Warren Creavalle) 93+
New England Revolution: Bobby Shuttleworth, Kevin Alston, A.J. Soares, Stephen McCarthy, Darrius Barnes (Diego Fagundez 83), Fernando Cardenas, Benny Feilhaber, Clyde Simms © (Juan Toja 46), Kelyn Rowe, Dimitry Imbongo (Blake Brettschneider 78), Jerry Bengtson
Substitutes Not Used: Matt Reis, Mike Roach, Blair Gavin, Alec Purdie
STATS: Shots 14, Shots on Target 4, Corner Kicks 4, Saves 5, Fouls 14, Offsides 3, Passes (percentage) 230 (63%), Possession 35.6%
Houston Dynamo: Tally Hall, Kofi Sardokie, Bobby Boswell, Jermaine Taylor, Corey Ashe, Brad Davis © (Warren Creavalle 91+), Ricardo Clark, Adam Moffat, Boniek Garcia, Will Bruin (Cam Weaver 74), Calen Carr (Brian Ching 65)
Substitutes Not Used: Tyler Deric, Luiz Carmargo, Macoumba Kandji, Andre Hainault
STATS: Shots 16, Shots on Target 7, Corner Kicks 9, Saves 4, Fouls 12, Offsides 6, Passes (percentage) 414 (79.7%), Possession 64.4%
* Note that all statistics are unofficial
NE – Fernando Cardenas (caution) 54
HOU – Bobby Boswell (caution) 60
NE – Dimitry Imbongo (caution) 62
HOU – Will Bruin (caution) 62
NE – Juan Toja (caution) 68
Referee: Drew Fischer
Assistant Referees:George Gansner, Jonathan Johnson
Fourth Official: Baldomero Toledo
Weather: Rain and 75 degrees
New England Revolution: 7-16-8 (29 pts.)
Houston Dynamo: 13-8-10 (49 pts.)
- With the loss, the Revs moved to 6-3-5 all-time against Houston, including a 4-2-1 mark in away matches
- This was the Revs’ first-ever match at BBVA Compass Stadium … the Revs were previously 4-1-1 at Robertson Stadium
- The Revs are 0-2-2 in their last four matches against Houston
- The loss dropped the team to 7-16-8 on the season, equaling the team’s 2011 loss total
- After being shut out tonight – the 11th time this season – the club tied its record for most times being shut out in a season (11 – 2010)
- Tonight’s two-goal loss was just the team’s second multiple-goal loss of the season … the only other loss this year in which the team dropped a game by more than one goal was on March 17 in a 3-0 loss – with 10 men for almost 80 minutes – at Kansas City
- Benny Feilhaber made his first start since Sept 1 – a 0-0 draw with Philadelphia at home
- Fernando Cardenas also made his first start since Sept. 1 … on the season, he now has eight starts
- Bobby Shuttleworth made his second consecutive start and his fourth start of the season … he is now 1-2-1 on the year with a 1.00 goals against average
- Bobby Shuttleworth’s five saves were one shy of his single-game high of six, which he recorded on Oct. 10, 2010 against Houston
- Ryan Guy was unavailable for tonight’s game while he wrapped up his first-ever international duty with Guam … he played in the Paulino Alcantara Peace Cup in the Philippines this week
- Dimitry Imbongo made his third start of the season and had five shots