By JUSTIN FERGUSON
After being held scoreless in their last three road matches, the Houston Dynamo seemed like unlikely candidates to break the New England Revolution’s long home shutout streak.
But the Dynamo completed that unlikely task, scoring twice at Gillette Stadium on Saturday night thanks to two great shots from a player who seems to only score wonder goals.
Houston midfielder Adam Moffat opened his 2013 scoring tally with a Goal of the Year candidate and struck a vicious shot that was ruled a Bobby Shuttleworth own goal to give the Dynamo a 2-1 victory over the Revolution.
Moffat’s spectacular long-range volley in the 49th minute brought the match to life after a first half with zero shots on goal. After a Dynamo corner kick was headed out of the area, the 27-year-old Scottish midfielder stepped up and delivered a blistering first-time shot right over the head of Shuttleworth.
The opener was the first league goal scored on the Revolution at Gillette Stadium since Lloyd Sam’s 55th-minute strike for the New York Red Bulls on May 11. Moffat’s goal brought the Revs’ streak to an end at 434 minutes.
The Revolution registered their first shot of the match in the 55th minute, and it found the back of Tally Hall’s net. After Diego Fagundez’s low cross was tapped away by a diving Hall, an unmarked Saer Sene was there to equalize from close range.
Although Sene’s tap-in was New England’s only shot on goal in the entire match, the offense threatened for most of the second half. Lee Nguyen came close to snatching the lead for the Revs in the 71st minute, but his free kick from just outside the box was inches over the crossbar.
Moffat made New England pay for its missed chances in the 79th minute. Finding space from deep once again, Moffat stung a powerful low shot that cannoned off the post, but the ball bounced off the back of a diving Shuttleworth and in.
While Moffat was originally credited with his second goal of the season, the eventual winner was later ruled an own goal. The midfielder, who has scored exactly two goals in four of his five seasons in MLS, will have to double his tally at a later date.
New England’s fate appeared to be sealed when substitute striker Dimitry Imbongo, who was sent off in the two sides’ first meeting of the season, saw red for striking Eric Brunner with his elbow in the 82nd minute.
But the Revolution were surprisingly on the front foot after falling to 10 men. The home side missed three shots in the final minutes and saw a penalty shout, their third of the half, denied on the final play of the match.
The victory opens up a five-point gap between Houston and New England for fifth place in the Eastern Conference. Houston (8-6-5) will be back in MLS action two weeks from Saturday in a home match against Chicago. New England (6-6-6) will play Colorado on Wednesday, the first in a three-match road trip.
Here are the match highlights:
What did you think of the match? Was Moffat’s opener the best in MLS so far this season? Surprised to see New England concede two goals at home? Think Houston has turned it around?
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