HOUSTON – After seeing their 36-game unbeaten streak at home snapped a week ago, the Houston Dynamo are now on a much different home streak.
In a match that will be remembered for a pair of first-half red cards to Bobby Boswell and Dimitry Imbongo, the New England Revolution shocked the Dynamo with a 2-0 victory at BBVA Compass Stadium on Saturday night. Diego Fagundez put the Revolution in front early in the second half before an own goal from Ricardo Clark in the 84th minute sealed the Dynamo's fate.
The result gives Houston (6-4-2) back-to-back home losses for the first time since losing three in a row in 2010 and leaves them on 20 points while New England (3-4-4) now has 13 on the season.
Fagundez’ goal was a moment of magic as the 18-year-old played a nifty give-and-go with Clyde Simms before making a weaving run into the penalty area and tucking his ensuing shot inside the near post. The goal was Fagundez's third in New England's last five matches.
As the Dynamo pushed numbers forward to find the equalizer, Lee Nguyen caught the Dynamo upfield and sent a long ball cross-field to Chris Tierney, who found the debuting Juan Agudelo. The striker, who came on in the 35th minute for an injured Ryan Guy, turned and shot the ball but it deflected off Clark and went over the goal line before it could be cleared.
The first half was also eventful but mostly because of the two ejections that changed the dynamic of the game.
After going back-and-forth from the opening kick, the battle between Imbongo and Boswell reached a boiling point in the 37th minute and it wound up ending both players' nights. On a Revolution free kick, Boswell went in head first on the Revs forward and Imbongo retaliated by putting the center back in a headlock and sending him to the ground. The antics from the two were enough for referee Edvin Jurisevic to reach for his red card and send both to the showers.
As a result of Boswell's ejection Houston subbed in Adam Moffat for Giles Barnes in the 43rd minute. The hosts had previously inserted Eric Brunner to replace an injured Jermaine Taylor, who left the match at the 10-minute mark with a left shoulder knock after a 50-50 challenge with Imbongo.
After Fagundez’ goal, the Dynamo pushed numbers forward in search of an equalizer despite being with only 10 men. Will Bruin made the first attempt to bring Houston level after a long spell of possession but he hit a shot over the crossbar after Corey Ashe curled a cross into the box 10 mintues after the opener.
While Houston attacked, New England found space on the counter. Nguyen nearly made it a two-goal lead in the 70th-minute when he took a feed off a slanting run from Fagundez and hit the far post from just outside the box
Second-half substitute Brian Ching nearly played the hero in the 81st-minute with two shots in the span of seconds but Revolution goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth was up to the task to preserve the lead.
New England's next game will be at home against Toronto FC on May 25 while Houston travels to meet Sporting Kansas City a day later.
Houston Dynamo (6-4-2; 20 points) vs. New England (3-4-4; 13 points)
MLS regular season
May 18, 2013 BBVA Compass Stadium, Houston, TX
Attendance: 22,039 (sellout)
New England: Diego Fagundez 3 (Clyde Simms 1) 51
New England: Ricardo Clark (own goal) 84
HOU: Boniek Garcia (caution) 26
NE: Dimitry Imbongo (ejection) 40
HOU: Bobby Boswell (ejection) 40
NE: Stephen McCarthy (caution) 47
HOU: Kofi Sarkodie (caution) 58
NE: Bobby Shuttleworth (caution) 82
Referee: Edvin Jurisevic
Referee's Assistants: George Gansner, Frank Anderson
4th Official: Armando Villarreal