FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – It took nearly five years but Kevin Alston’s timing was perfect as his first career goal helped lift the New England Revolution to a 2-0 victory over the Houston Dynamo on Saturday at Gillette Stadium.
Alston, who went into Saturday’s contest scoreless in his first 122 games as a pro, tallied in the 68th minute after he grabbed a pass from Teal Bunbury and rifled a shot under the bar. Subsitute Jerry Bengtson, who hadn’t scored since last year’s season opener, closed the door on the Dynamo with a 91st minute goal.
With the win, the Revolution upped their mark to 2-3-1 (7 points), while the Dynamo dropped to 2-3-0 (6 points). The Revolution were playing without coach Jay Heaps, who was banned for the match after he was ejected in the 90th minute of his club’s 2-0 loss to D.C. United at RFK Stadium last week but even without Heaps’ presence on the bench, the Revolution hardly looked like a team without direction.
In the 16th minute Andy Dorman found Saer Sene inside the area, where the French winger’s diving header veered wide of frame. Nine minutes later it was Sene in the role of distributor, finding Diego Fagundez on the outer edge of the box. There, the teenage midfielder slipped into area and pulled the trigger on a quick shot that forced Tally Hall to make a diving save.
While the Dynamo were content to clog the midfield and frustrate their hosts, the Revolution were keen to break through, and nearly did so in the 38th minute. Daigo Kobayashi fed it forward to Lee Nguyen, who rifled a shot that Hall pushed over the bar but any excitement Nguyen’s shot created was quickly hushed after Revolution skipper Jose Goncalves was taken down on a hard challenge from Ricardo Clark behind the play.
The reigning MLS Defender of the Year, who suffered quad injury on the play, was forced to come out with a quad injury, giving way to Darrius Barnes in the 41st minute. In the 68th minute, Alston tried the give and go with Kobayashi but the Japanese midfielder’s pass back was denied by a Dynamo defender before the ball fell to Teal Bunbury , who sent it ahead to Alston, and the left back powered his shot through.
The Revolution made it a two-goal game in stoppage time when Bengtson collected a long ball from A.J. Soares and went into the box before slipping it through.
The Revolution will head to Toyota Park next Saturday for the first of three meetings against the Chicago Fire. Kickoff is set for 4pm ET. The Dynamo will remain on the road next Saturday as well to face the Philadelphia Union at PPL Park. Kickoff is set for 4pm ET.