FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Carrying a 1-0 lead through most of the match, the New England Revolution let the never-say-die San Jose Earthquakes hang around a bit longer than they would’ve preferred on Saturday night, but ultimately the home side found that critical second goal to guarantee the full three points in a 2-0 win.
Saer Sene’s long-range rocket gave the Revs an early lead and the hosts peppered Jon Busch’s goal with 19 shots – including 11 in the first half – but it wasn’t until the 78th minute that the points were secure when Dimitry Imbongo climbed off the bench to stab home Lee Nguyen’s pass from close range.
“We talked about it at halftime, that we couldn’t leave them hanging around because they’ve proven they can score,” Chris Tierney said of the Earthquakes, who have gained a reputation for their late-game heroics. “The way that their game is, they’re always trying to get balls into the box to make things happen.
“We would’ve liked to get one a little bit earlier. I think we knew that the second goal was going to kill the game. It came a little later than we wanted, but credit to Dimitry for making a great play. That was crucial for us. We were pretty sure the second goal was going to kill the game and I think it did.”
Imbongo’s goal may have killed the game, but New England’s strong defensive shape – particularly the performances of center backs Jose Goncalves and Stephen McCarthy – kept San Jose’s potent attack without a sniff at goal for the full 90 minutes. Goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth needed to make just two saves to secure the shutout, the Revolution’s league-leading 10th of the season.
“If you look at the way the game played out, Macca and Jose were the reason we won the game,” said Tierney. “The way that (San Jose) plays is they’ve got two big, strong forwards and that’s a tough assignment for any defender in this league. Macca and Jose are the biggest and strongest out there. The way that they battled and took care of that job – which was definitely not an easy one – I think really won us the game.”