Second-half substitute Diego Fagundez scored with the last kick of the game as the New England Revolution opened up a three-game home-stand by rescuing a 2-2 draw with Seattle Sounders FC on Saturday night at Gillette Stadium.
Fagundez entered the game in the 81st minute and scored the dramatic equalizer in the fourth minute of stoppage time – heading home fellow substitute Fernando Cardenas’ left-wing cross – marking the second straight week the Revs did so after Chris Tierney’s 94th-minute equalizer last weekend against Toronto FC.
A pair of first-half goals from Eddie Johnson had Seattle on the brink of victory after cancelling out Saer Sene’s opener in the 12th minute, but Fagundez’s leveler extended the Sounders’ (7-5-5, 26 pts.) club-record winless run to eight games (0-4-4) and helped the Revs (5-7-4, 19 pts.) stretch their unbeaten run to four games (1-0-3).
Shalrie Joseph returned to New England’s central midfield after a one-game absence, while Flo Lechner started at right back in place of the injured Kevin Alston (L hamstring tightness). Blake Brettschneider rounded out the changes to the Revolution’s lineup as the forward earned his first start since May 26.
Brettschneider repaid head coach Jay Heaps’ faith by setting up Sene’s opening goal in the 12th minute. After fighting through a pair of Sounders defenders at the top of the box and having his initial shot blocked, Brettschneider slotted a pass across the face of goal for Sene to tap into an empty net from close range.
The Sounders responded through Johnson just 11 minutes later, however, pulling even at 1-1 in the 23rd minute. Mauro Rosales forced a turnover in the attacking third and immediately sent a curling cross into the box for Johnson, who escaped his marker and buried a powerful header from eight yards out.
Johnson struck again in the 35th minute, doubling his own haul and pushing the visitors into a 2-1 lead. From deep in the left corner, Marc Burch delivered an arching cross into the middle. Revolution goalkeeper Matt Reis came to collect but missed and Johnson out-jumped A.J. Soares to head home his team-leading seventh goal of the season.
Brettschneider almost found an immediate response for the Revs in the 37th minute when his long-range shot forced Seattle goalkeeper Andrew Weber into a sprawling save low to his left. Weber was injured on the play, forcing backup Bryan Meredith into the game following the halftime break.
Trailing by a goal, the Revs made a trio of attack-minded substitutions throughout the second half, bringing on Kelyn Rowe (64th minute), Cardenas (71st minute) and Fagundez (81st minute).
The moves paid dividends deep into second-half stoppage time when Cardenas crossed for Fagundez to notch his first goal of the season. Cardenas’ driven service from the left wing found Fagundez free in the box and the diminutive forward made no mistake with his header, powering his effort back across goal and into the far side netting.
The Revs will continue their three-game home-stand next weekend when they host the New York Red Bulls on Sunday, July 8. Kickoff from Gillette Stadium is set for 7 p.m.