TUCSON, Ariz. – The New England Revolution captured the Mobile Mini Sun Cup after defeating the Houston Dynamo in penalties, 1(4)-1(3), on Saturday night. Krisztián Németh provided the lone regulation goal, as well as the decisive penalty to propel the Revs to victory. For his performance in all four matches of the tournament, Diego Fagundez was named Mobile Mini Sun Cup Most Valuable Player.
After the first 25 minutes, which were primarily played in the middle third of the pitch, both sides found scoring opportunities in the remainder of the first half. In the 26th minute, Houston’s Mauro Manotas had the ball at his feet near the penalty spot, however, a Dynamo handball upended the threat. Just seconds later, the Revolution found their best scoring opportunity of the half. From the left side of the pitch, Teal Bunbury delivered a ball to Scott Caldwell, whose attempt on net was blocked, while Andrew Farrell’s follow-up effort sailed over the crossbar. Just prior to halftime in the 43rd minute, Houston’s Boniek García was sent off for a foul on Fagundez, and was replaced by Arturo Álvarez.
The Revs opened the second half on the front, scoring within the first five minutes after the resumption of play. After Kelyn Rowe rang a shot off the post, Németh pounced on the rebound opportunity with a right-footed strike to give the Revolution the first lead of the contest. The Dynamo looked to equalize in the 58th minute, as Alberth Elis’ headed attempt struck the far post. Houston leveled the match from the penalty spot in the 63rd minute, with Elis providing the equalizer after Cody Cropper fouled the Honduran international in the box. Shortly after the penalty, Cropper was tested again, but provided two saves just seconds apart to deny Elis and Manotas to keep the two sides level. Rowe looked to have the game-winning goal in the 89th minute, but Houston’s Joe Willis was able to redirect the shot off the near post and out for a corner. Following regulation, Caldwell, Bunbury, Chris Tierney, and Németh converted their opportunities from the penalty spot to seal the win.
The Revolution will return home to Foxborough, Mass. on Sunday ahead of the 2018 season opener at the Philadelphia Union at 7 p.m. ET on March 3. One week later, the club will open its home slate against the Colorado Rapids at 1:30 p.m. ET on March 10.
NE – Krisztian Nemeth (Unassisted) 48’
HOU – Alberth Elis (Penalty Kick) 63'
NE – Andrew Farrell (Yellow Card) 40'
HOU – Boniek García (Red Card) 43'
HOU – Alberth Elis (Yellow Card) 45'+2’
NE – Antonio Delamea (Yellow Card) 58'
HOU – Leonardo (Yellow Card) 85'
New England Revolution: Cody Cropper; Gabriel Somi (Chris Tierney 75’), Claude Dielna © (Jalil Anibaba 45’ - HT), Antonio Delamea, Andrew Farrell (Brandon Bye 75’); Wilfried Zahibo (Kevin Vang 84’), Scott Caldwell; Cristian Penilla (Krisztián Németh 45’ - HT), Diego Fagundez (Kelyn Rowe 45’ - HT), Teal Bunbury; Juan Agudelo (Brian Wright 60’)
Substitutes Not Used: Matt Turner, Brad Knighton, Nicolas Samayoa, Femi Hollinger-Janzen, Mark Segbers
Houston Dynamo: Chris Seitz (Joe Willis 66’); DaMarcus Beasley (Leonardo 72’), Phillipe Senderos (Alejandro Fuenmayor 72’), Adolfo Machado, Kevin Garcia; Juan David Cabezas, Eric Alexander (Darwin Cerén 75’), Boniek García (Arturo Álvarez 45’); Andrew Wenger (Memo Rodriguez 49’), Mauro Manotas (Tomas Martinez 79’), Alberth Elis
Substitutes Not Used: Nico Corti, Charlie Ward, Mac Steeves, Todd Wharton, Eric Bird