FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Saer Sene’s third goal of the season pulled the New England Revolution level early in the second half, but Adam Moffat’s second goal of the game in the 79th minute lifted the Houston Dynamo to a 2-1 victory on Saturday night at Gillette Stadium.
The loss kept the Revs (6-6-6, 24 pts.) on the outside of the playoff picture for the time being as the Dynamo (8-6-5, 29 pts.) tightened its grip on the fifth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, although the Revs do have a game in hand on their rivals.
Sene’s 55th-minute goal was an opportunistic finish inside the six-yard box after great setup work from Diego Fagundez, in stark contrast to Moffat’s surrounding goals, which were both long-distance rockets.
All the scoring occurred in the second half after both sides struggled to generate much quality in the opening 45 minutes. Neither side registered a shot on target in the first half and the best chance arrived in the 18th minute when Fagundez was clean through only to have the ball stick underneath his feet.
Moffat changed the complexion of the game shortly after the break as he put the visitors in front with an incredible goal in the 49th minute. Taking a half-cleared corner kick out of the air 25 yards from goal, the Scotsman drilled a left-footed full volley just under the crossbar to temporarily silence the home crowd.
The Foxborough faithful were on their feet just six minutes later, however, as Sene pulled New England level with an opportunistic strike. Fagundez drove to the right byline and delivered a low pass which Dynamo goalkeeper Tally Hall palmed right to the feet of Sene, who took one touch to settle before calmly finishing into the open net.
New England had a legitimate penalty shout turned away moments later and Shuttleworth made a big stop on Giles Barnes in the 59th minute as the action continued to heat up as the game progressed.
Shuttleworth was unlucky in the 79th minute, however, when Moffat’s long-range drive kicked off the right post, hit the goalkeeper in the back and bounced over the line to put the Dynamo back in front.
Just three minutes after going behind, the Revolution’s task got that much harder when Dimitry Imbongo was sent off after scuffling with Dynamo defender Eric Brunner.
The 10-man Revolution’s best chance to find a late equalizer went begging in the 86th minute when substitute Juan Toja couldn’t direct his shot on target from Kelyn Rowe’s low pass.
After back-to-back home games, the Revs will now be on the road for their next three matches, beginning Wednesday night when they’ll visit the Colorado Rapids at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.
New England Revolution vs. Houston Dynamo
July 6, 2013 – Gillette Stadium (Foxborough, Mass.)
Houston Dynamo 2, New England Revolution 1
HOU – Adam Moffat (unassisted) 49
NE – Saer Sene (unassisted) 55
HOU – Adam Moffat (Ricardo Clark) 79
New England Revolution: Bobby Shuttleworth, Chris Tierney (Juan Toja 86), Jose Goncalves, Stephen McCarthy, Andrew Farrell, Diego Fagundez, Kelyn Rowe, Scott Caldwell, Lee Nguyen, Saer Sene, Chad Barrett (Dimitry Imbongo 55)
Substitutes Not Used: Matt Reis, Darrius Barnes, Ryan Guy, Clyde Simms, A.J. Soares
STATS: Shots 8, Shots on Target 1, Corner Kicks 2, Saves 1, Fouls 10, Offsides 2, Passes 359 (77.7%), Possession 45.2%
Houston Dynamo: Tally Hall, Kofi Sarkodie, Bobby Boswell, Eric Brunner, Jermaine Taylor, Ricardo Clark, Giles Barnes (Warren Creavalle 92+), Adam Moffat, Andrew Driver, Boniek Garcia, Cam Weaver (Brian Ching 90)
Substitutes Not Used: Tyler Deric, Mike Chabala, Alex Dixon, Jason Johnson, Bryan Salazar
STATS: Shots 13, Shots on Target 3, Corner Kicks 4, Saves 0, Fouls 15, Offsides 2, Passes 432 (79.6%), Possession 54.8%
* Note that all statistics are unofficial as supplied by Opta
NE – Andrew Farrell (caution) 56
HOU – Eric Brunner (caution) 69
NE – Dimitry Imbongo (ejection) 82
Referee: Armando Villareal
Assistant Referees: Scott Kachmarik (SAR), Mark Cahen (JAR)
Fourth Official: Mathieu Bordeau
Weather: Cloudy and 74 degrees
Houston Dynamo – 8-6-5 (29 pts.)
New England Revolution – 6-6-6 (24 pts.)
- With the loss, the Revs dropped to 7-4-5 all time against the Dynamo
- The Revs are now 6-6-6 (24 pts.) on the season and remain in sixth in the Eastern Conference
- Saturday marked the second of three meetings between the two clubs this season … Houston returns to Gillette on September 28 to close out the regular-season series
- The loss also ended the Revs recent home unbeaten streak of five games … the Revs last lost at home on May 8 against Real Salt Lake
- The club posted a 3-0-2 record at home from May 11 up until Saturday’s loss
- Saturday’s loss also ended the Revs consecutive home shutout streak at 443 minutes … the club record for consecutive shutout minutes stands at 501 minutes (2005)
- Saer Sene scored his third goal of the season on Saturday night … Saturday also marked the second straight game in which Sene has scored
- Bobby Shuttleworth is now 2-2-0 all-time against the Dynamo with five goals against in four matches
- Dimitry Imbongo received his second red card this season … both red cards have come against the Dynamo
- The Revs hit the road for three straight games starting Wednesday at Colorado … kickoff against the Rapids is set for 9 p.m. ET