MLS New England Revolution

Match Report: Revolution 2, New York City FC 1 — Revs mark fourth road win thanks to goal, assist from Nguyen

Everything you need to know about the Revolution’s 2-1 win over New York City FC Sunday afternoon in quickie form:

THE SKINNY

Revs come up with big win in The Bronx: After two scoreless matches over the past week at home, New England took the short ride to the Big Apple and came away with three big points. Despite only 33 percent of the ball, the Revolution took care of business on two occasions to gain a 2-1 win over New York City FC at Yankee Stadium. It’s the fourth win for the Revolution on the road since the August restart and moves them back into sixth in the Eastern Conference, one point behind these same Pigeons.

New England puts it away from the spot: With just about 10 minutes of normal time remaining, Matt Polster, making his return to the pitch as a second-half sub following his concussion two weeks ago, was adjudged to have been brought down in the penalty area, and Lee Nguyen easily sent Sean Johnson the wrong way from the penalty spot to put the Revs ahead, 2-0. But Alexander Callens, in second-half stoppage time, headed home a corner off the woodwork and in to ruin the clean sheet.

Nguyen gets 50th helper on Bunbury’s fifth: Revolution in-house reporter Jeff Lemieux had mentioned on Revolution Pregame Live that you can’t be late to watch this one, given NYCFC’s tendencies to start fast. Well, it was a fast start… but not by the hosts. The Revs took a 1-nil lead in the third minute — the earliest New England goal of the season — as the NYCFC defense took a siesta: Nguyen laid off the ball to Teal Bunbury, who raced in and beat Johnson. It was his fifth goal of the season, and Nguyen’s 50th career assist, making him the first Revolution player in club history to cross the 50-goal, 50-assist plateau.

Two changes (again): Bruce Arena has made it a habit of few changes from match to match during the last month plus, so it’s no surprise he only made two changes to the starting XI Sunday afternoon. With his first start in four weeks, Cristian Penilla replaced Diego Fagundez — they swapped when Penilla came out in the 37th minute with a knock — at the No. 7, while Bunbury replaced Adam Buksa at the No. 9. Everything else was status quo from midweek.

Next Sunday’s home game moved back a day: Just before 3 p.m., the news came down that next Sunday’s home match against Philadelphia Union had been pushed back a day to Monday, Oct. 19. That is to accommodate the now-Week 6 Patriots game with the Broncos, which was postponed Sunday due to positive COVID-19 tests within the Patriots locker room. That move puts five days after this Wednesday’s game with Montreal, but will cut recovery by a day for the following matchup (Friday, Oct. 23) at Nashville.

HOW THE REVS WON IT

Simply put, a three-way substitution in the 58th minute really slowed NYCFC — who had owned the last half hour of game time — down. Arena brought Buksa in for Bunbury, Kelyn Rowe for Tommy McNamara, and Polster in for Scott Caldwell, and it turned things around and gave the tourists the ability to really take a bit of the Pigeons’ momentum away.

WHO’S HOT

Lee Nguyen: His first goal and an assist in a Revs shirt since his return. Enough said.

Matt Turner: The Revs No. 1 made seven saves, six in the first half, and was minutes from his seventh clean sheet of 2020. His seventh save came just before the goal, and he was constantly under pressure by a mainly offside NYC.

WHO’S NOT

Armando Villareal: While there wasn’t much to nit-pick about the Revs performance — and I generally, by rule, don’t complain about officials — but referee Armando Villareal had an absolute nightmare in the middle Sunday. There were a number of times where NYCFC fouled the Revolution — such as when Rowe was carded after getting cleated in the back by Alexander Ring, or the time when Caldwell was elbowed in the throat — and Villareal handed down no real punishment, except maybe a telling off. Seriously, it felt like he had swallowed his whistle, and he had no control of this match. I half-expected NYCFC to do a Hulk Hogan leg drop and still see no punishment. And none of it went to VAR official Jorge Gonzalez. Like… isn’t that what VAR is for?

LET’S TALK ABOUT STATS, BABY

12 shots, 5 on-target for the Revolution; they had 6 and 2 in the first half, and were stuck on 6 and 2 for a while in that first half

64 percent passing accuracy

WHAT SWEENS REALLY THINKS RIGHT NOW

You have to go back to the 2015 season to find the last time New England won four road league games in a season… when they won five. Their first chance for their fifth road win of 2020 is Wednesday. The 2014 and 2013 teams had six, just in case anyone wanted to know.

THEY SAID IT

“It was a hard-fought, well-earned, much-needed win.” — Lee Nguyen on Revolution Postgame Live

ON TAP

It’s another quick turnaround as New England travels to Dor… no, wait, that’s not right… to Harrison, NJ and Red Bull Arena to take on Montreal for the fourth time in 2020. That’s this Wednesday night at 7:30 p.m. See you then.