By JUSTIN FERGUSON
After last week’s 4-0 rout of the Seattle Sounders, many wondered if the Los Angeles Galaxy could recreate that offensive performance without striker Robbie Keane and against a defense that had recorded back-to-back shutouts.
On Sunday, the defending champions’ performance looked more like their midweek U.S. Open Cup loss than their prime time blowout win over Seattle.
Playing without Keane and starting centerback Omar Gonzalez, the Galaxy gave up three goals in the final three minutes of regulation time as the New England Revolution defeated the Galaxy, 5-0, at Gillette Stadium.
Once again, Diego Fagundez was the star for the Revolution. The teenage midfielder assisted on the Revs’ first two goals and grabbed one of his own just before being subbed off. His 87th-minute strike extended his scoring streak to four straight MLS matches.
Fagundez’s first assist was to Saer Sene, who was making his first start since his ACL injury back in August 2012. The French striker made Los Angeles pay for their missed chances early on, finishing a quick counter attack with an excellent finish near post. The 33rd-minute goal was Sene’s first since his return from the injury.
The Galaxy continued their tight grip on possession into the second half, but a controversial call and some quick thinking from the Revs put them two goals back in the 71st minute.
Referee Fotis Bazakos overruled a call from his assistant referee near the sideline, turning a Galaxy throw-in into a Revolution free kick. Fagundez quickly took the free kick and passed the ball to Lee Nguyen, who wrong-footed Carlo Cudicini with a cutback shot through the legs of defender Tommy Meyer.
Fagundez put the match out of reach towards the end of regular time, finishing off a one-two with substitute Kelyn Rowe for New England’s third goal.
Rowe capped the match off with a stoppage time assist to former Galaxy man Chad Barrett and adding a curling goal moments before the final whistle.
New England (5-4-4) continue their four-match home stand next Saturday with a meeting with struggling D.C. United. Los Angeles (6-5-2) will hit the road on that same day for a match with Real Salt Lake.
Here are the match highlights: