FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – On the same night he was christened the Revs’ 2013 most valuable player – the team’s youngest-ever MVP – teenager Diego Fagundez scored the game-winning goal in the 76th minute to lift the New England Revolution to a 3-2 win over the Columbus Crew on Saturday night at Gillette Stadium.
The win lifted the Revs into a playoff position – fifth place in the Eastern Conference – with one East game to be played on Sunday that could affect the team’s placement, setting up the wildest final week in MLS history next weekend.
New England (13-11-9, 48 pts.) enters the final week of the MLS schedule riding a five-game unbeaten streak (3-0-2), while Columbus (12-16-5, 41 pts.) was eliminated from playoff contention after needing a win tonight to stay alive.
The Revolution sits in fifth place in the East by virtue of tiebreakers over Houston (48 pts.), while the Dynamo hosts New York on Sunday afternoon. If the Red Bulls defeat Houston, the Revs will have their playoff fate in their own hands next weekend when the team ends the season at Columbus next Sunday afternoon.
In front of 26,458 fans – the largest Revs crowd since Aug. 8, 2009 – the Revs put on a spectacular goal-scoring show. After taking a 1-0 lead in the 32nd minute and a 2-1 lead in the 69th minute, the Revs saw Columbus twice come back to equalize, setting up Fagundez’s late-game heroics.
The Revs took a 1-0 lead into halftime behind A.J. Soares’ first goal of the season. After Andy Dorman drew a free kick near the corner of the penalty area in the 32nd minute, Kelyn Rowe served in an in-swinging ball that Soares rose to meet and flick in past Crew keeper Matt Lampson.
Columbus opened the second half pressuring the Revs, but Fagundez nearly put New Enland up 2-1 in the 58th minute, connecting with Jerry Bengtson’s cross in the front of goal, but his flicked-on header flashed wide of Lampson’s goal.
One minute later, the Crew’s efforts succeeded. Halftime substitute Aaron Schoenfeld fed Columbus’ leading scorer, Dominic Oduro, on the right edge of the box, and he blasted a shot over Revs goalkeeper Matt Reis, tucking the ball just under the crossbar to equalize at 1-1.
The Revs got the opportunity to push ahead in the 68th minute when Crew defender Tony Tchani undercut Dorman as he chased after a deflected ball in the penalty area. Referee Mark Geiger pointed to the penalty spot, where Chris Tierney stepped up and converted to push the Revs ahead, 2-1, in the 69th minute.
That lead was short-lived, as Schoenfeld and Oduro combined again in the 71st minute, knotting the game at 2-2. After the Revs struggled to clear the ball, Oduro fed Schoenfeld near the edge of the box and his shot beat Reis through the upper left corner of the goal.
Fagundez then made his effort count in the 76th minute, connecting with Dorman. After Dimitry Imbongo played Dorman wide to the left, the Welshman sent in a cross that flashed behind Juan Agudelo on the near post. Fagundez, however, was streaming in unmarked on the far post and redirected the cross in past Lampson for the 3-2 lead that would hold.
In a pregame ceremony, Fagundez was awarded the team’s 2013 MVP award, which was determined by fan voting. Captain Jose Goncalves was named the team’s 2013 Best Defender (determined by media vote), while Reis was named the team’s Humanitarian of the year for the third straight season.
The Revolution returns to action on Sunday, Oct. 27, when the team plays its 2013 regular-season finale against Columbus at Crew Stadium. Kickoff is set for 4 p.m. ET, and the match will be broadcast live on TV by Comcast SportsNet and on the radio by 98.5 The Sports Hub HD2.
New England Revolution vs. Columbus Crew
October 19, 2013 – Gillette Stadium (Foxborough, Mass.)
New England Revolution 3, Columbus Crew 2
NE – A.J. Soares (Kelyn Rowe) 32
CLB – Dominic Oduro (Aaron Schoenfeld) 59
NE – Chris Tierney (penalty) 69
CLB – Aaron Schoenfeld (Dominic Oduro) 71
NE – Diego Fagundez (Andy Dorman, Dimitry Imbongo) 76
New England Revolution: Matt Reis, Chris Tierney (Kevin Alston 78), Jose Goncalves, A.J. Soares, Andrew Farrell, Diego Fagundez, Andy Dorman, Scott Caldwell (Stephen McCarthy 80), Kelyn Rowe, Juan Agudelo, Jerry Bengtson (Dimitry Imbongo 65)
Substitutes Not Used: Bobby Shuttleworth, Clyde Simms, Chad Barrett, Charlie Davies
STATS: Shots 16, Shots on Target 9, Corner Kicks 4, Saves 4, Fouls 19, Offsides 0, Passes 270 (73.7%), Possession 45.1%
Columbus Crew: Matt Lampson, Chad Barson, Chad Marshall, Tyson Wahl, Agustin Viana (Ben Speas 70), Ethan Finlay (Aaron Schoenfeld 46), Wil Trapp, Tony Tchani (Justin Meram 79), Bernardo Anor, Dominic Oduro, Jairo Arrieta
Substitutes Not Used: Andy Gruenbaum, Josh Williams, Danny O’Rourke, Ryan Finley
STATS: Shots 12, Shots on Target 6, Corner Kicks 1, Saves 6, Fouls 16, Offsides 1, Passes 336 (69.9%), Possession 54.9%
* Note that all statistics are unofficial as supplied by Opta
CLB – Ethan Finlay (caution) 31
NE – Jerry Bengtson (caution) 47
NE – Dimitry Imbongo (caution) 94+
NE – Juan Agudelo (caution) 94+
Referee: Mark Geiger
Assistant Referees: Sean Hurd (AR1), Joe Fletcher (AR2)
Fourth Official: Robert Sibiga
Weather: Cloudy and 57 degrees
Columbus Crew: 12-16-5 (41 pts.)
New England Revolution: 13-11-9 (48 pts.)
- With the win on Saturday night, the Revs moved back into the fifth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference entering Sunday’s MLS action
- With the win, the Revs improved to 13-11-9 overall this season
- The Revs extended their unbeaten streak to five games (3-0-2), dating back to Sept. 21
- The win on Saturday secured the team’s first winning record since 2009 when the Revs finished 11-10-9
- The Revs now have 48 points, the team’s highest point total since 2007 when the team secured 50 points in a 30-game season
- Diego Fagundez scored his team-leading 13th goal of the season on Saturday night … it was his fifth game-winning goal this season
- With his goal, Diego Fagundez remains tied for fifth in MLS in goal scoring
- With his goal, Diego Fagundez scored his 17th career goal … he is now MLS’ all-time leading scorer as a teenager with, moving past Eddie Gaven (16)
- With 17 goals, Diego Fagundez also moved into a tie for 10th place with Andy Dorman on the Revolution’s career goal-scoring chart
- Chris Tierney scored his first goal of the season from the penalty spot … it was his first goal since June 23, 2012 at Toronto … he has now scored at least one goal in each of the last four seasons and six on his career
- A.J. Soares scored his first goal of the season on Saturday … it was his first goal since October 27, 2012 at Montreal … Soares now has four career goals – all coming on set pieces
- Soares and Tierney became the 12th and 13th players, respectively, to score at least one goal for the Revs this season
- Kelyn Rowe recorded his team-high eighth assist on Saturday … Rowe has seven goals and eight assists on the season
- Andy Dorman recorded his first assist – a game-winner – on the season … the assist was his first as a Rev since June 16, 2007, also against Columbus
- The Revs matched their season-high in shots on goal with nine on Saturday … the club recorded nine shots on goal against San Jose on July 6 in a 2-0 win
- Dimitry Imbongo recorded his fourth assist, and first game-winning once, on the season
- Matt Reis remained unbeaten in 2013 with the win on Saturday … Reis is now 6-0-4 on the season … he is one game shy of his career-best 11 game unbeaten streak (7-0-4), which he established in 2005
- In a pregame ceremony, Diego Fagundez was awarded the team’s 2013 MVP award … he is the youngest team MVP in club history
- By vote by the team’s media, Jose Goncalves was named the Revs’ 2013 Best Defender
- Matt Reis earned his third straight Revolution humanitarian of the year award
- Tonight’s crowd of 26,458 was the team’s largest of the 2013 season, and the club’s biggest for a Revolution stand-alone MLS game since Aug. 9, 2009 when they welcomed 26,623 fans for a game against the LA Galaxy