BSJ Match Report: Revolution 2, Houston 1 – Arena’s second-half subs the difference in big win

Adam Richins for BSJ

FOXBOROUGH — All you need to know about the Revolution’s 2-1 win over Houston Dynamo Saturday in quickie form, complete with BSJ insight and analysis:


Delamea’s header pulls Revs level, Bunbury seals win at the death: The third straight corner was the charm for the Revolution to get a much-needed equalizer, and with the game just barely into second-half stoppage time, there was enough space to grab a much-needed match-winning goal. Antonio Delamea, who has dealt with injuries over the last seven weeks, headed home Diego Fagundez’s corner service in the 51st minute, leveling the match at 1-1 with over 40 minutes remaining. And try as they might and with Houston — which was playing its third road game in eight days and playing with a skeleton-like, makeshift XI — getting gassed in the last half an hour, Bruce Arena inserted Teal Bunbury (57th minute sub) and Cristian Penilla (61st) to get that final goal, and with chances feeling spent, a Penilla cross had Dynamo keeper Joe Willis out of position, and Bunbury had all the time in the world to slot home.

Revs extend unbeaten run to six straight in the league, climb to ninth in East: Been a long time since we’ve spoken about a defeat in the league, right? Well, we’re not talking about one today, either, as New England has now run their unbeaten record since Brad Friedel’s sacking to 3-0-3 and seven out of their last eight in both competitions thanks to Saturday's 2-1 triumph. Not only that, the Revolution are 4-0-2 against the Western Conference in 2019, and Saturday night’s win — New England’s fourth straight home win over the Dynamo — brought The Boys In Blue to 5-8-5 (20 points) for the season, moving the Revs into ninth in the Eastern Conference, two slots below the playoff line. That’s right: New England is now within breathing space of the playoff hunt.

Cerén scores off the corner for Houston: The Revs had started to get more of a foothold in the match and had started to dominate in terms of chances, but Houston struck first in the 25th minute. Matt Turner had made a spectacular rising save to concede a Dynamo corner, and the ensuing service went to Darwin Cerén. Cerén popped the ball off an unlucky, mis-positioned Juan Fernando Caicedo, and that did enough to redirect the ball away from where Turner was by just enough length to get in.

Six changes to the XI: Arena promised changes with the quick turnaround, and boy, there were quite a few — including Justin Rennicks making his first start in MLS, and doing so as the primary striker in the 4-2-3-1. Turner returned to guard the onion bag, with DeJuan Jones stepping in, with Delamea making his first start since May 8 and fourth of the season. Fagundez and Caicedo replaced Penilla and Bunbury, respectively. Carles Gil, Juan Agudelo, Andrew Farrell, Brandon Bye, and Luis Caicedo all retained their spots. Houston sent quite a few of its players — including Alberth Elis and Maynor Figueroa — back to H-Town to rest in preparation for Wednesday’s home date against the Red Bulls, and only had six on the bench.