FOXBOROUGH – The unlikely catalyst who broke the New England Revolution out of a four-game losing streak struck again on Saturday night as a revitalized Teal Bunbury scored the only goal in a 1-0 victory for the Revs over the Vancouver Whitecaps in front of 19,911 at Gillette Stadium.
The Revolution staged a quick counterattack off a goal kick by Whitecaps newcomer Stefan Marinovic in the 53rd minute as Kelyn Rowe headed it forward to Kei Kamara and then got the ball back on the right wing. Rowe took one touch and then swung the ball the ball into the box.
Bunbury got in behind center back Tim Parker and struck the ball out of the air with a one-touch lefty finish into the right side of the goal to put the home side ahead for good.
The goal was the fourth in the past five games for the resurgent 27-year-old Revs forward.
Scoring chances were few and far in between, but the were a pair of dangerous free kicks later on in the second half as Lee Nguyen sent a shot just over from the left edge of the box in the 69th minute.
In the 71st minute, Cristian Techera sent a free kick off the crossbar in the Whitecaps best chance on goal to that point. Vancouver pushed forward and were in the Revolution’s box for much of the second half stoppage time, but Revs keeper Cody Cropper closed out his sixth shutout of the season.
Whitecaps midfielder Matias Laba had to sub off with an injury in the 29th minute, while the Revolution got some positive news with the return of midfielder Xavier Kouassi, who has played just six minutes since the start of June with a quadriceps strain.
The Revs (8-10-5) now have a pair of pivotal road matches ahead the next two weekends, facing New York City FC at 6 p.m. next Sunday before traveling to play a revamped D.C. United the following weekend. The Revolution are 0-8-3 away from the friendly confines of Gillette Stadium this season.
The Whitecaps (9-9-4) have a busy conclusion to the month with three games during an eight-day stretch, starting with a home match against the Houston Dynamo next Saturday.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Bunbury made a good case for himself with the only goal of the game, but his impact stretched beyond that with another high work rate performance. Bunbury made the most of his 65 minutes with a game-high four shots, including two on target. Amid a group of mostly cerebral personalities, Bunbury’s visible intensity and desire over the last month has made a big difference.
MOMENT OF THE MATCH
It wasn’t the most interesting match to watch, but the Revolution’s goal was a thing of beauty, showing off Rowe’s versatility, Kamara’s holdup play and Bunbury’s tirelessness. Not to mention, it was a pretty nice one-touch finish for Bunbury using his off foot.
MATCH TO FORGET
Brek Shea could have tied the game and changed the momentum in the Whitecaps’ favor in the minutes after Bunbury’s goal, but he missed a sitter at the left post, allowing the Revs to sub on Xavier Kouassi and Scott Caldwell and protect the Revolution’s lead the rest of the way.