The New England Revolution have been deplorably wasteful in front of goal, but just one moment of accuracy from Lee Nguyen was all that was required to take the halftime lead over the New York Red Bulls in Gillette Stadium on Sunday night. Nguyen's strike is the exclamation point on a half where the Revs demonstrated raw dominance over their opponents.
Nguyen's goal, his third of the season, was a ranged strike from just outside the D that appeared to take Ryan Meara by surprise before slipping inside the left post. Chris Tierney assisted on the goal, taking the Revolution team lead in that stat category with four.
New England created the only meaningful chances of the half, and by all rights should have been up by three or four goals going into the half. Blake Brettschneider had a one-on-one opportunity in the 12th minute after Saer Sene sprung him with a great pass, but Ryan Meara was out quickly and saved off of Blake's foot.
Brettschneider then wasted an even better chance three minutes later, getting a free header off a chipped cross from Nguyen, but despite going up uncontested for the ball, he somehow managed to head high over the crossbar. Just a minute later, Sene tried his hand at playing provider yet again, driving in on the left and then cutting the ball back to Benny Feilhaber, but the skilled midfielder tried to go for finesse over power and instead awkwardly deflected the ball wide of the far post.
Blake Brettschneider yet again missed a golden opportunity in the 20th minute when Kevin Alston played him in, but this time it was Ryan Meara's goalkeeping skills that kept the match level as he parried away the stinging drive. Nguyen's goal in the 24th was timely, but didn't spark the Revs finishing, as just a moment later Sene was the goat when he sent his one-on-one with the 'keeper wide of the far post.
Finally, in perhaps the best chance of the evening, a Feilhaber free kick found the head of A.J. Soares, who did excellently to put a spinning header on frame. Meara made a breathtaking acrobatic save just to put it off the crossbar, but it fell to Blake near the line with an open net. Brettschneider had two bites of the apple, but some last-ditch defending from New York kept the ball out and it was eventually cleared.
Incredibly, the Revolution defense has held the Red Bull's potent attack to zero attempts on goal, which includes shots on target, off target, and blocked. The back line has done well to deal with the speed of Dane Richards and the size of Kenny Cooper.