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NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION

June 18, 2016
TIPPING THE CAPS
Revolution beat Vancouver 2-1


London Woodberry scored his first MLS goal to start the Revs on their way to a 2-1 win over Vancouver on Saturday.
London Woodberry scored his first MLS goal to start the Revs on their way to a 2-1 win over Vancouver on Saturday.
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
VANCOUVER--Kelyn Rowe broke a 1-1 deadlock with a brilliant strike early in the second half and the New England Revolution were able to hang on for a hard-earned 2-1 road victory over Vancouver Whitecaps FC at BC Place Saturday in the only regular season meeting of the two sides.

London Woodberry notched his first MLS goal to open the scoring off Lee Nguyen’s team-leading sixth assist, but Nicolas Mezquida drew the Whitecaps (6-7-3, 21 points) level later in the first half with a perfectly executed free kick.

Rowe’s 55th minute half-volley off a Teal Bunbury cross gave the lead back to the Revs, but the visitors needed an eleven-man effort and desperate defending to hold off a furious Vancouver response for the remaining forty minutes.

With the win, their second in a row following a 2-1 victory over Seattle on May 28th in Foxborough, the Revs (4-4-7, 19 points) evened their record and moved up at least one spot in the MLS East.

After pitching a 1-0 midweek shutout against the Carolina RailHawks in Open Cup competition, Brad Knighton earned his first MLS start of the year in goal. Andrew Farrell remained at right back with Woodberry stationed in central defense. With former Whitecap Gershon Koffie unavailable due to injury, Daigo Kobayashi, another Vancouver outcast, worked out of the defensive midfield.

Coming off a three-week break from league play and wearing their red and white kits, the Revs came close to drawing first blood in the 23rd minute when Chris Tierney advanced down the left flank and curled a trademark left-footed cross into the path of a hard-charging Rowe at the edge of the six-yard box, but Rowe’s driving header crashed off the crossbar.

Eight minutes later the Revs got their due off Woodberry.

After Kei Kamara won a foul on Vancouver defender Tim Parker, Nguyen delivered a free kick from deep on the right and Woodberry split a pair of ‘caps to slam a header inside the left post beyond the reach of ‘keeper David Ousted.

Ten minutes later a Woodberry handball five yards outside the penalty area drew a caution from referee Ismail Elfath and gave the home side the opportunity to draw even.

Mezquida stepped up and curled a dipping free kick over the Revolution wall and into the left upper corner of the net for the Uruguayan midfielder’s first goal of the campaign.

The ‘Caps nearly grabbed the lead in first-half stoppage time when Cristian Techera sprung forward Cristian Hurtado behind the New England back line with a perfect through ball, but Knighton, who had taken a kick to the head from a sliding Jordan Smith earlier, came off his line to tip Hurtado’s effort just beyond the post.

Ten minutes into the second frame, Rowe gave the lead back to the Revs with a brilliant half-volley. After Kobayashi won a 50-50 ball from Russell Teibert on the right wing, Teal Bunbury crossed low and hard across the top of the eighteen where Rowe redirected with a blistering drive inside the right post for his third goal of the season.

The home side responded vigorously with waves of attack but the Revs were able to absorb the sustained pressure through stout defending by Knighton and the back line.

As the hour mark passed, Kobayashi gave way to Diego Fagundez and Vancouver head coach Carl Robinson sent in Christian Bolanos and Blas Perez as additional attacking options.

The Revs continued to dodge bullets, Woodberry avoiding a hand ball call and Kekuta Manneh squandering a point blank opportunity.

New England head coach Jay Heaps buttressed the beleaguered back line, replacing Bunbury with defender Je-Vaughn Watson, and the Revs were able to escape Cascadia with three vital points.


   
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