FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – It took nearly five hours to complete, thanks to two hours and 50 minutes of suspended play, but the New England Revolution were able to overcome the inclement weather and Houston Dynamo at Gillette Stadium on Saturday night.
The Revs defeated the Dynamo 2-0 via second-half goals from Jose Goncalves and substitute Juan Agudelo. The two strikes came after the match was suspended on two different occasions, with the first stoppage coming early in the first half and the other at halftime.
With dark clouds baring down on the region and bolts of lightning growing increasingly closer to the stadium, the match was suspended in the 13th minute. The skies opened up shortly after, which lead to an hour-and-forty-nine-minute delay.
The game resumed at 9:40 pm local time, but after having to warm up again, both sides were not as fluid as they had been at the start.
The best effort of the first half came from New England when Goncalves pushed up the left side and curled a pass into the box in the 34th minute. Diego Fagundez, with an open line in front of him, eventually got the ball and blasted it on frame, only to have Tyler Deric make an exceptional save.
The second delay occurred as the teams were about to hit the pitch for the start of the second half, and it would be an hour and one minute before they would resume play at 11:30 pm.
Jermaine Jones, making his first start since returning from his bilateral hernia surgery, saw his night cut short because of the delays. He was replaced by Daigo Kobayashi once the game eventually resumed for the second time. Houston also subbed off a Designated Player, taking off DaMarcus Beasley after halftime in favor of Kofi Sarkodie.
It was Deric who came up big again in the 64th minute after Fagundez and Chris Tierney worked the ball back and forth along the right side of the box before the ball landed at the feet of Lee Nguyen, who hit a point blank shot. The Houston goalkeeper, however, came up with yet another stop.
But five minutes later New England finally found a way. Nguyen sent a long cross off a short corner in from the right side that was headed in traffic to Goncalves, who gave the Revs the lead with his first strike of the season.
In the 87th minute, the Revs added their second with a charging Nguyen coming up the left side and into the box before sliding it off to Agudelo for his first goal since May 20.
Houston return to action on Friday when they travel to take on the Portland Timbers. New England gets a bye next week before resuming league play on Aug. 29 against the Philadelphia Union at PPL Park.
New England Revolution (9-9-7, 34 points) vs. Houston Dynamo (8-9-7, 31 points)
MLS regular season
August 15, 2015 – Gillette Stadium, Foxboro, Massachusetts
New England Revolution: Jose Goncalves 1 (unassisted) 69
New England Revolution: Juan Agudelo 5 (Lee Nguyen 5) 88
Houston Dynamo: Tyler Deric; Sheanon Williams, David Horst, AJ Cochran, DaMarcus Beasley (Kofi Sarkodie 46); Luis Garrido, Nathan Sturgis (Boniek García 76); Alex, Giles Barnes, Brad Davis ©; Will Bruin (Erick Torres 56)
Substitutes Not Used: Joe Willis, Rasheed Olabiyi, Mauro Manotas, Leonel Miranda
New England Revolution: Bobby Shuttleworth; Jeremy Hall, Andrew Farrell, Jose Goncalves, Chris Tierney; Jermaine Jones © (Daigo Kobayashi 46), Scott Caldwell; Kelyn Rowe (Teal Bunbury 77), Lee Nguyen, Diego Fagundez; Charlie Davies (Juan Agudelo 59)
Substitutes Not Used: Brad Knighton, Andy Dorman, Kevin Alston, London Woodberry
HOU: Luis Garrido (caution) 59
HOU: David Horst (caution) 85
Referee: Jose Carlos Rivero
Assistant Referees: Craig Lowry, Mark Cahen
Fourth Official: Robert Sibiga