Shalrie Joseph and Rajko Lekic scored either side of halftime and goalkeeper Matt Reis made eight saves to record his fifth shutout of the season as the New England Revolution snapped a seven-game winless run with a 2-0 win over FC Dallas on Saturday night at Gillette Stadium.
Joseph opened the scoring with his team-leading eighth goal of the season in the 14th minute, while Lekic provided an insurance strike – his sixth of the season – in the 84th minute to guarantee the Revs claimed all three points.
It was the Revolution’s (5-11-12, 27 pts.) first win since July 20 and first home victory since May 14, while FC Dallas (13-8-7, 46 pts.) missed out on a chance to climb back into second place in the overall league standings following Seattle Sounders FC’s loss to Real Salt Lake.
There was one change to the Revolution lineup which played to a 4-4 draw with the Philadelphia Union on Wednesday night at PPL Park as Franco Coria replaced Ryan Cochrane in central defense.
For the 10th time in their last 12 games, the Revs scored the opening goal when Joseph finished off a flowing move in the 14th minute. Joseph started the sequence by forcing a turnover in midfield and sending Milton Caraglio into the right corner, where the Argentine dropped a short pass back into path of Monsef Zerka. With his first touch, Zerka whipped a cross into the box for Joseph to guide home a header inside the right post.
FC Dallas almost produced an immediate equalizer when Zach Loyd’s right-wing cross found Maicon Santos free six yards from goal in the 16th minute, but Santos directed his header straight at Reis. In the 36th minute, Jackson forced Reis into another save with an acrobatic bicycle kick in the right side of the box.
Caraglio almost doubled the Revolution’s advantage in first-half stoppage time when he picked off an errant back-pass from Jair Benitez and rounded FCD goalkeeper Kevin Hartman. However, Hartman did enough to force Caraglio wide and the 22-year-old drilled his shot into the outside of the net from a tight angle.
Hartman came up big again shortly after the halftime break, this time in a more conventional manner. Lekic pounced on a loose ball and unleashed a rocket from 25 yards out in the 51st minute, but Hartman made a stunning stop, diving to his right to palm the effort away with one hand.
FCD’s goalkeeper went the other way to deny Darrius Barnes in the 74th minute as Hartman leapt full stretch to his left to push away the defender’s 30-yard drive.
Reis matched his counterpart in the 79th minute, tipping Santos’ curling effort over the crossbar when it appeared to be headed toward the upper corner.
With FCD pushing for an equalizer, the Revs capitalized from a set piece to salt the game away in the 84th minute. Cochrane – who replaced Coria in the 72nd minute – arrived at the near post to flick Benny Feilhaber’s corner kick to the back post, where Lekic was on hand to bury a first-time shot and provide the final 2-0 score line.