|Revolution 1, Pumas 0
||By Jeff Lemieux, Staff Writer & Online Host
An acrobatic finish from rookie Zack Schilawski proves to be the only goal of the game as the Revs open SuperLiga 2010 with an important victory | Highlights >> | Revolution Postgame >>
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Rookie forward Zack Schilawski scored the decisive goal with a clever finish in the 18th minute and the New England Revolution kicked off its SuperLiga 2010 campaign in ideal fashion by earning a hard-fought 1-0 win over Mexican Primera División club Pumas UNAM on Wednesday night at Gillette Stadium.
With the win, the Revs (1-0-0, 3 pts.) climbed to the top of the Group B standings pending the result of the evening’s other match between the Chicago Fire and Monarcas Morelia, while Pumas (0-1-0, 0 pts.) dropped to the bottom of the group.
Although the second half was action-packed following a lethargic opening 45 minutes, Schilawski’s goal surprisingly arrived midway through the first half and represented the only real scoring chance of the stanza. Marko Perovic provided the service from a corner kick, marking the second time in five days the Serbian midfielder contributed to a Revolution goal via set piece.
Second-year goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth made six saves – and got a little help from the crossbar in the 89th minute – to record his first professional shutout and secure the win.
Revs head coach Steve Nicol indicated early in the week he’d likely shuffle his lineup for SuperLiga and he did just that, as four players who started on the bench in last weekend’s 2-0 win over the LA Galaxy found themselves in the starting 11 on Wednesday night. Shuttleworth took over between the pipes, while Joseph Niouky, Kenny Mansally and Kheli Dube were all handed starts.
Almost the entire first half was bogged down in midfield, not unsurprisingly considering the slick surface – afternoon rain drenched much of the Northeast – and the unfamiliarity between the two sides from neighboring domestic leagues. The Revs outshot their Mexican guests by a margin of 5-2 in the opening 45 minutes, but each side managed to direct just two efforts on target.
Although scoring chances were at a premium in the first half, one moment of quality from Schilawski provided a breakthrough as the Revs grabbed a 1-0 lead in the 18th minute. Perovic delivered an in-swinging corner kick from the right and Schilawski broke free of his marker at the back post before acrobatically rising to poke the ball just inside the post.
Both teams responded to the sluggish pace of the first half by making an attack-minded substitution at the break. The Revs introduced speedy winger Sainey Nyassi in place of Mansally, while Pumas brought on Martin Bravo to replace Jehu Chiapas.
The changes appeared to provide the necessary spark for both sides as the second half began at a breakneck pace. Perovic forced Pumas goalkeeper Sergio Benal into a smart save with a long-range drive in the 46th minute, while Shalrie Joseph (53rd minute) and Niouky (55th minute) both went close with similar long-distance shots.
Pumas began to push the tempo in the attacking third as well, and the Mexicans appeared to level the score in the 52nd minute. Just seven minutes after entering the game, Bravo buried a back-post header only to see the goal ruled out for offside, although replays indicated he might’ve been level with the last defender.
The visitors continued to threaten as they pressed for an equalizer and twice came close in the 71st and 73rd minutes. First, defender Marco Palacios was left open in the box for a free header but looped his effort over the bar, while Bravo followed that chance up two minutes later with a low shot which skidded just past the post.
Pumas had one final chance to pull level and the Mexican side came so close to doing so in the 89th minute. Israel Castro’s 25-yard shot clipped Joseph and the new trajectory wrong-footed Shuttleworth, but the ball struck the underside of the crossbar and bounced away before the Revs’ goalkeeper corralled the ball to end the threat.
The group stage of SuperLiga 2010 will continue this weekend when the Revs visit MLS rival Chicago Fire on Saturday, July 17. Kickoff from Toyota Park is set for 7 p.m. ET.
New England Revolution (MLS) vs. Pumas UNAM (MEX)
July 14, 2010 – Gillette Stadium (Foxborough, Mass.)
NE – Zack Schilawski (Marko Perovi?) 18
New England Revolution: Bobby Shuttleworth, Chris Tierney, Darrius Barnes, Emmanuel Osei, Kevin Alston, Kenny Mansally (Sainey Nyassi 46), Shalrie Joseph ©, Joseph Niouky (Pat Phelan 64), Marko Perovi? (Seth Sinovic 70), Kheli Dube, Zack Schilawski
Substitutes Not Used: Matt Reis, Tim Murray, Michael Videira
STATS: Shots: 11; Shots on Goal: 6; Saves: 6; Corner Kicks: 4; Offside: 4; Fouls Committed: 19
Pumas UNAM: Sergio Benal ©, Marco Antonio Palacios, Dario Veron, Luis Fuentes, Leandro Augusto, Oscar Rojas (Javier Cortes 80), Jehu Chiapas (Martin Bravo 46), Fernando Espinosa, Isreal Castro, Juan Carlos Cacho, Francisco Palencia (Dante Lopez 82)
Substitutes Not Used: Alejandro Palacios, Efrain Velarde, Carlos Campos, Eduardo Gamaz
STATS: Shots: 13; Shots on Goal: 6; Saves: 5; Corner Kicks: 6; Offside: 5; Fouls Committed: 4
NE – Kenny Mansally (caution) 11
PUM – Fernando Espinosa (caution) 43
NE – Shalrie Joseph (caution) 45
NE – Joseph Niouky (caution) 56
PUM – Leandro Augusto (caution) 56
NE – Sainey Nyassi (caution) 84
Referee: Silviu Petrescu
Referee’s Assistants: William Anderson, Anthony Lopez
Fourth Official: Guido Gonzalez
Weather: Cloudy and 65 degrees
- The win gives New England three points and a 1-0-0 record in Group B of SuperLiga 2010 play … the Revs next match is on Saturday at Chicago Fire in Game 2 of group play, with the final match against Monarcas Morelia at Gillette Stadium on Tuesday, July 20.
- With the victory, the Revolution moves to 7-1-2 all-time in SuperLiga play, and 6-0-0 against Mexican clubs … it was the Revs first win over Pumas in the clubs’ first ever meeting.
- Bobby Shuttleworth made his third career start tonight- first in SuperLiga play … Shuttleworth also started in the U.S. Open Cup match at the New York Red Bulls on May 12 and a June 5 match at Seattle … the Revs lost both games, 3-0.
- Shuttleworth picked up his second win as a professional and his first shutout … his first win came in relief of Preston Burpo in a 3-2 win over the New York red Bulls on May 29.
- Zack Schilawski scored for the sixth time in a Revolution uniform, and the first time outside of regular season play … the goal was also Schilawski’s first professional goal on a set piece- a corner kick sent in by Marko Perovic.
- Marko Perovic picked up his first assist in a Revolution uniform on the Revolution’s 18th-minute corner kick conversion.
- The Revs scored their first goal in their fourth non-MLS game in 2010.
- New England was previously shut out in a U.S. Open Cup game- 3-0 loss at Red Bull New York on May 12 and two international friendlies at Gillette- a 4-0 loss to Benfica on May 19 and a 3-0 loss to Cruzeiro on June 13.