After starring in the New England Revolution’s U.S. Open Cup quarterfinal win over the Philadelphia Union on Wednesday, Je-Vaughn Watson made the difference again on Saturday as the Revolution hosted the Chicago Fire.
Watson broke open a scoreless game by latching onto a right side corner kick by Chris Tierney for the winning header as the Revs pulled away for a 1-0 victory over Fire in front of 21,872 at Gillette Stadium.
In the midweek game, Watson scored the Revolution’s only goal and then converted the decisive penalty kick when the game went to a shootout.
“Je-Vaughn is the guy where you write his name down on the game sheet and you know exactly what you’re going to get,” Revolution coach Jay Heaps said. “He’s going to leave it all on the field.”
The Revolution and Fire will play against each other again in the U.S. Open Cup semifinals in just over two weeks, on Tuesday, Aug. 9 at Gillette Stadium.
With the game stagnating on offense, the Revolution’s Diego Fagundez provided a spark off the bench after substituting into the game in the 59th minute, as Fagundez led all players with four shots on target.
The Revolution is now unbeaten in four games in a competitions, also drawing Real Salt Lake and beating Columbus Crew SC the previous two weekends.Chicago, meanwhile, extended its MLS record road winless streak to 35 games.
The Revs head on the road next weekend against Orlando City SC, while the Fire will try to get back on track at home versus the New York Red Bulls.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Fire goalie Sean Johnson matched a career-high with 10 saves in the loss. Consider that Chicago didn’t put a shot on goal the entire game, and it’s not a stretch to say Johnson was the only reason the Fire were in the game. Johnson made three saves over a stretch of 1:22 in the opening 10 minutes and later stopped determined substitute Diego Fagundez four times.
MOMENT OF THE MATCH
Watson scored his first goal in a Revs uniform on an opportunistic quick free kick on Wednesday and scored again on another heads0up play. On a windy night in Foxboro, Watson judged Tierney’s corner correctly and had an open goal to head home into after Johnson came out and missed on a punch attempt.
“It’s my responsibility because I ask our goalkeepers every time it’s possible to try to catch the ball, so no problem,” Fire coach Valjko Paunovic said of Johnson coming off his to try punch away Tierney’s corner.
MATCH TO FORGET
Michael de Leeuw was supposed to solve the Fire’s scoring problems, but instead he went the full 90 minutes in a game in which Chicago wasn’t able to even test the Revolution’s suspect goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth.