FOXBORO, MA - SEPTEMBER 05: Dimitry Imbongo #92 of the New England Revolution is congratulated by teammate Darrius Barnes #25 following his goal against the Columbus Crew during the game against the on September 5, 2012 at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

Revolution 2, Crew 0: New England Finally Gets Victory After Ten Games Winless

After over two months of futility, the New England Revolution finally snapped their 10-match winless streak with a 2-0 win over the Columbus Crew at Gillette Stadium on Wednesday night. Dimitry Imbongo's first MLS goal was the decider.

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Revolution Vs. Crew Final: New England Snaps Winless Skid With 2-0 Victory

The New England Revolution waited a long time for this one. After ten games of heartbreak, bad luck, and poor play, they finally broke their winless streak with a 2-0 victory over the Columbus Crew. Dimitry Imbongo's first MLS goal was the decider, with an own goal from Chad Marshall added for insurance.

"It was a good result for us," said head coach Jay Heaps. "It was nice to end this [winless] streak to be honest with you. Just a tough road, but I think the guys came out tonight and played really well. Showed a lot of heart."

New England started off the match in great form, peppering the Crew goal with chances and generally dominating proceedings, as evidenced by the Revs' 10 shots (six on goal) compared the Crew's three (none on target). If not for the incredible efforts of Andy Gruenebaum, the Revolution could have easily held a 3-0 lead going into the half.

Diego Fagundez and Lee Nguyen had the half's best opportunities. Nguyen had a direct free kick saved by Gruenebaum; regardless, it was probably the most dangerous free kick a Revolution player has managed all year. Fagundez fashioned many chances, but none were more spectacular than his attempted aerial bicycle kick that was saved by Gruenebaum in the 30th minute.

"I think me and Dimitry [Imbongo] both came onto the field thinking that we needed to do something," said Fagundez. "Both of our main forwards are out - Jerry [Bengtson] who's out with Honduras and Saer [Sene] who picked up an injury - so me and Dimitry got together and both said we need to do something right now and that this was our game to help out the team."

In the second half, the Revs jumped out with a similar vigor. Kelyn Rowe wasted a good set-up from Fagundez in the 47th, while Nguyen showcased his class by splitting three defenders before putting the ball over the bar when he really needed to do better.

Finally, the Revs had their breakthrough. Dimitry Imbongo flicked on a Florian Lechner throw with his head, springing Fagundez in on goal. The young attacker managed to get a shot off but saw it hit the post before rebounding into the area in front of an open goalmouth. Fagundez recovered and touched it on for Imbongo, who slammed it home for his first-ever goal in MLS play.

The inclusion of Chris Tierney, who made his 100th appearance with the Revolution on Wednesday night, lead to the match's second goal in the 74th minute. Matt Reis lofted the ball toward Tierney. The Wellesley native, playing left wing, headed it on toward Imbongo, who was dueling with Chad Marshall. Marshall tried to head the ball to his goalkeeper, but with Imbongo pressuring him, committed a costly miscue and headed over Gruenebaum and into the net.

"I thought [Dimitry] Imbongo was excellent tonight," said Heaps. "He worked hard. He battled Chad Marshall, who is arguably one of the best center backs in the league and the best player in the air. And I thought Dimitry absolutely met him challenge for challenge, and step for step, and it was a really good game for Imbongo."

Getting some consistent energy in the offense was important, but the effort of a defense that managed a second-straight shutout despite missing two first-choice players cannot be overstated. Darrius Barnes had a very strong outing, while Stephen McCarthy was imperious as the aerial enforcer in front of an excellent Matt Reis.

"Columbus is a rhythm team and we never really let them get into rhythm," said Heaps. "And that was important that [Jairo] Arrieta and [Federico] Higuain couldn't get the ball. And that was our focus - when they did get the ball, we wanted a guy on them quickly. You could see when Higuain would get the ball we were on him, and he started to drift wider and we knew to take him there. So we did a good job across the back line."

Statistically, the match could not have been better for the Revs. Although they lost the overall possession battle 45.7% to 54.3%, the rest of the stats tell a different story. New England finished with 20 shots, eight of them on target and three blocked, while the Crew had just seven; less than the Revs managed in either single half. The Revs finished with nine corners to Columbus's three. And even with the shutout, Matt Reis was forced into just three saves, all of them in the second half. Gruenebaum conceded twice and was still called upon to make seven saves.

Perhaps nothing was more important than getting that first goal before Columbus had a chance to get back in the match. That, and what Jay Heaps called the "little things."

"[Getting a quick goal to start the second half] was important," said Heaps. "We could sense that the game was going our way, that we were pushing them. And that was why I think we came out a bit sharper. It was all the little things tonight. That's what I'm really most proud of. Even at the end of the game, Fernando [Cardenas] drawing that foul and taking it, and then the guys rallying around each other when Kevin [Alston] got kicked at the end.

"Those are really important things, and things we're getting better at and things we need to continue to get better at."

For more Revolution coverage, visit our team page and blog, The Bent Musket.


Revolution Vs. Crew Score Update: Columbus Embarrassed As Marshall Own Goal Puts New England Up 2-0

The New England Revolution got one step closer to their first win in eleven games on Wednesday night as the Columbus Crew committed a grievous error to put the Revs up 2-0. A misunderstanding between goalkeeper and defender resulted in a fairly embarrassing own goal.

A long Matt Reis kick reached the head of Chris Tierney, who had recently been substituted on for Diego Fagundez. Tierney flicked the ball toward Dimitry Imbongo, who was marked by Chad Marshall.

Marshall, a former MLS Defender of the Year, herded Imbongo away from the ball as Andy Gruenebaum rushed out to claim it. Then, inexplicably, with Gruenebaum bearing down on him to snatch the ball away, Marshall jumped and tried to head the ball to his keeper.

Instead, he headed it over his keeper. Imbongo gave chase, but his pressure had already done enough, as Marshall's errant header bounded into the net to give the Revs a two-goal lead.

For more Revolution coverage, visit our team page and blog, The Bent Musket.


Revolution Vs. Crew Score Update: Imbongo's First MLS Goal Gives New England 1-0 Lead

The New England Revolution fought hard through a first half on Wednesday night where they dominated the Columbus Crew but were unable to get the breakthrough. In the second half, the chances continued, and early on in that period they finally paid off.

A ball into the box was flicked on at the top by Dimitry Imbongo to an onrushing Diego Fagundez. The teenage phenom beat Gruenebaum to the ball in the box but was unable to beat the post, and it clanged off the base of the woodwork and back out into the area. Fagundez was up and got to the ball, managing to touch it on toward the middle of the box where Imbongo had trailed, and the big Frenchman made no mistake with his close-range finish.

The goal was actually the Revs' third good chance of the half, as both Fagundez and Lee Nguyen managed to get good looks at goal earlier on. Nguyen actually had two good opportunities, forcing a save with one.

For more Revolution coverage, visit our team page and blog, The Bent Musket.


Revolution Vs. Crew Score Update: New England Creates Chances But Doesn't Score, 0-0 At Halftime

The New England Revolution certainly had the look of a team that was tired of losing in the first half of their Wednesday night match against the Columbus Crew, but nevertheless they were unable to find a breakthrough as both teams entered the interval knotted up at 0-0. Only a heroic performance from Andy Gruenebuam stood between the Revs and paydirt.

Ryan Guy kicked off the half's scoring opportunities in the 10th minute when he juggled the ball briefly before ripping a swerving half-volley that Gruenebaum had to be on his toes to catch. Right after that, Dimitry Imbongo received an excellent diagonal ball and cut inside before unleashing a good shot of his own that the Crew goalkeeper had to save.

A minute later, in the 12th, Fagundez took the ball right off of Imbongo's feet before taking a shot of his own that Gruenebaum also parried away. Lee Nguyen took what might have been the best-looking free kick of any Revolution player in 2012 when he put one across the face of Gruenebaum's goal in the 19th minute, but again the keeper made the save.

Gruenebaum managed to look a little shaky at times in the half, and though he made six saves, he dropped a few balls and made some questionable decisions. No maneuver was more dangerous than in the 30th minute, when he came out to claim a Florian Lechner throw-in but misjudged it, and instead spilled it into the area. Fagundez tried a dramatic aerial bike finish, but Gruenebaum somehow managed to keep it out.

Federico Higuain had the Crew's best chance of the half in the 37th minute, taking a free kick from about 25 yards out that rasped just over the bar. Jairo Arrieta looked dangerous, but was caught offside several times.

Though the Crew had the better of possession (52.4% to the Revs' 47.6%), New England managed a staggering ten shots, with six on goal, compared to Columbus' three shots in all.

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