FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Diego Fagundez scored the only goal of the game midway through the first half and Clyde Simms was instrumental in stifling the high-powered Chicago Fire attack as the New England Revolution claimed a 1-0 win in the 2012 home finale on Saturday night at Gillette Stadium.
The Revs (8-17-8, 32 pts.) finished the season with a record of 7-4-6 at home, marking a three-win improvement over last year’s mark in Foxborough. Although the Fire (17-11-5, 56 pts.) has already clinched a spot in the MLS Cup Playoffs, the loss dropped Chicago into third place in the Eastern Conference standings.
New England goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth needed to make just one save – a simple stop on a weak shot from Patrick Nyarko in the 86th minute – to pick up his second shutout of the season. Blair Gavin made his Revolution debut with a start in central midfield – replacing the suspended Benny Feilhaber – while A.J. Soares recovered from a right knee sprain in time to retain his spot in central defense.
After a quiet opening period the crowd of 25,534 was brought to its feet in the 17th minute when Fagundez put the home side ahead with a long-range rocket to cap a flowing move through midfield. Kelyn Rowe was the architect with a clever turn to open space and an incisive pass to Fagundez, who pushed forward before unleashing a 25-yard drive which flew past Chicago goalkeeper Sean Johnson and inside the left post.
The Revs threatened again in the 33rd minute when Kevin Alston pushed forward from his left back position, played a one-two with Jerry Bengtson and drilled a rising shot just over the crossbar from a tight angle.
Fagundez’s goal proved to be the only shot on target in the opening 45 minutes and chances continued to be few and far between throughout the second half. The Fire’s Nyarko went high and wide with a 20-yard effort in the 51st minute, while Rowe blasted over the bar from an acute angle in the 69th minute.
New England had one final chance to double its lead in stoppage time when Fagundez curled in a low cross for Bengtson, but the Honduran forward poked his effort over the crossbar. The missed opportunity was ultimately harmless, however, as the Revs held on for the shutout victory.
With their home schedule complete, the Revs return to the road for their 2012 season finale next weekend as they’ll visit the Montreal Impact at Stade Saputo on Saturday, Oct. 27.
New England Revolution vs. Chicago Fire
October 20, 2012 – Gillette Stadium (Foxborough, Mass.)
New England Revolution 1, Chicago Fire 0
NE – Diego Fagundez (Kelyn Rowe) 17
New England Revolution: Bobby Shuttleworth, Kevin Alston, Darrius Barnes, A.J. Soares, Ryan Guy, Diego Fagundez, Clyde Simms ©, Blair Gavin (Juan Toja 61), Kelyn Rowe, Dimitry Imbongo (Chris Tierney 64), Jerry Bengtson
Substitutes Not Used: Matt Reis, Alec Purdie, Blake Brettschneider, Sainey Nyassi, Fernando Cardenas
STATS: Shots 9, Shots on Target 1, Corner Kicks 2, Saves 1, Fouls 16, Offsides 0, Passes Completed (percentage) 388 (75.8%), Possession 45.0%
Chicago Fire: Sean Johnson, Dan Gargan, Jalil Anibaba, Austin Berry, Gonzalo Segares, Logan Pause (Dominic Oduro 81) ©, Daniel Paladini (Alex 64), Patrick Nyarko, Chris Rolfe, Alvaro Fernandez, Sherjill MacDonald
Substitutes Not Used: Paolo Tornaghi, Mike Videira, Corben Bone, Arne Friedrich, Victor Pineda
STATS: Shots 7, Shots on Target 1, Corner Kicks 3, Saves 0, Fouls 11, Offsides 3, Passes Completed (percentage) 490 (79.6%), Possession 55.0%
* Note that all statistics are unofficial
NE – Jerry Bengtson (caution) 44
CHI – Sherjill MacDonald (caution) 67
Referee: Kevin Stott
Assistant Referees: Adam Wienckowksi, Kevin Klinger
Fourth Official: Mathieu Bourdeau
Weather: Clear and 66 degrees
New England Revolution: 8-17-8 (32 pts.)
Chicago Fire (17-11-5, 56 pts.)
- With the win, the Revs improved their record to 15-19-9 in the all-time regular-season series between New England and Chicago… in all meetings, Chicago holds a 29-23-10 edge in the series
- The Revs are now 11-8-3 against the Fire in Foxborough, including an 9-5-2 record at Gillette Stadium
- The Revs captured the regular-season series between the two teams with the win … the Revs won the first meeting, 2-0, on June 2, at Gillette Stadium while Chicago won, 2-1, at Toyota Park on Aug. 18
- The win in the final home game of the year, the Revs finished their Gillette Stadium schedule on a five-game unbeaten streak (2-0-3) dating back to Aug. 29
- This season, the Revs posted a 7-4-6 record at Gillette Stadium and scored 23 goals and 17 assists … last year, the team went 4-7-6 in Foxborough with 17 goals and 11 assists
- The Revs have picked up points in eight of their first 11 home finales at Gillette Stadium, posting a 7-3-1 record … in four home finales against Chicago, the Revs are unbeaten (3-0-1)
- The win snapped the team’s four-game winless streak (0-3-1) that dated back to Sept. 15 at D.C. United
- Diego Fagundez scored his second goal of the season and first since June 30 … Fagundez then lifted his jersey to reveal a special birthday message to his mother in attendance
- Diego Fagundez’s 17th-minute goal snapped the Revs’ scoreless streak of 196 minutes that dated back to Sept. 29 at Houston
- Kelyn Rowe recorded his team-leading fifth assist of the season on Diego Fagundez’s 17th-minute goal … this is the second-consecutive home game that Rowe has recorded an assist as the rookie assisted Darrius Barnes’ 95th-minute equalizer on Sept. 22 against New York
- After scoring in the 17th minute and capturing a 1-0 win, the Revs are now 5-1-3 at home this year when scoring first
- Bobby Shuttleworth made his sixth start – his fourth-consecutive – before earning his second shutout of the year … the shutout was his third career shutout and first since July 8 against New York
- The shutout tonight was the team’s eighth of the season and sixth overall at Gillette Stadium in 2012 … the Revs were 7-4-6 at home this year
- Blair Gavin made his first start with the Revolution tonight at midfield … it was Gavin’s first action since a start at LA on July 21 as a member of Chivas USA … Gavin was traded to the Revs on Aug. 1 and missed the first seven matches with the Revs because of hamstring tightness
- Ryan Guy made his second-consecutive start at right back
- Prior to the game the Revolution announced its annual team awards: Lee Nguyen (MVP), Stephen McCarthy (best defender) and Matt Reis (humanitarian of the year)
- Tonight’s attendance of 25,534 is the fourth-largest, stand-alone crowd for a regular season match in Gillette Stadium history … the first three games were all against LA, including a crowd of 39,256 against the Galaxy on Aug. 30, 2008
- Tonight’s match was the Revs’ annual Breast Cancer Awareness night as the team partnered with American Cancer Society’s Makings Strides Against Breast Cancer and We Got Soccer … the teams used a pink adidas Prime ball and all Revs players had pink ribbons on their jerseys as well as pink armbands … Bobby Shuttleworth wore a pink goalkeeper jersey while Diego Fagundez temporarily dyed his Mo-hawk pink for the occasion
- The Revs will complete their 2012 campaign at Montreal on Saturday, Oct. 27, in a 2 p.m. match at Saputo Stadium