New England Revolution 1-0 New York Red Bulls
Here came two sides that are struggling, surprisingly, to open the young season. The Red Bulls have one win in three attempts, and that one came against Houston in a real barn burner. New England have been struggling to keep all 11 men on the pitch as they have had players sent off in each of their last two matches. They were also winless coming into this one, but had three draws to their credit.
Neither attack looked competent in the opening 45 minutes. The best chance for either side came from Juan Agudelo trying to sneak one past Luis Robles with a long, long range effort in the second minute. Robles was a little fooled while caught off his line, but he backtracked well enough to keep the floater from crossing the line. The rest of the first half was a lot of unsuccessful long balls for Bradley Wright-Phillips and New England failing to connect anything through the midfield.
New England came out in the second half looking much more alive. They took advantage of some sloppy play in the Red Bull back line to get on the board first. After a couple of nice chances in the first ten minutes of the second half, they finally scored when a Red Bull turnover allowed Lee Nguyen to break against a limited defense in the 55th minute. It didn't help that Kemar Lawrence went down with an injury right as the Reve broke forward. A couple moves from Nguyen and a nice pass across the face of goal allowed Diego Fagundez to slide the ball into the empty net with ease.
The red card demon that had been haunting the Revs decided to return in their favor tonight. Felipe was sent off for New York in the 61st minute for what pretty much amounted to stepping on a Revs' player's foot. It was a nonsensical red card from Mark Geiger that better be rescinded by MLS. If stepping on someone's foot is a red card nowadays, I don't think I want to be a part of MLS anymore. The studs up challenges that are soft I suppose I could get used to. But things like this, where a player is punished for a hustle play that he has been taught to make for his entire life, that jsut goes too far and MLS needs to take a little power away from their officials.
The ten man Red Bull unit faced an uphill battle to equalize for a share of the points. One great chance to get back on the level came off an 81st minute corner that resulted in Dax McCarty's point blank shot getting blocked in the six yard box. As the Red Bull hopes faded, frustration kicked in and yellow cards began to show up for dissenting behavior, but nothing more than some pushing and shoving came out of it.
The Revs had their first win thanks to the Fagundez goal and some questionable officiating. It's tough to say the Red Bulls had an equalizer in them anyway. With how disconnected their attack was for most of the match, it's hard to say that a full squad would have helped them find a tying goal in this one.