FOXBORO, Mass. -- Juan Agudelo scored in his return to the New England Revolution after missing eight games with a knee injury to help lead the team to a crucial 2-0 win over the rival Chicago Fire in MLS action at Gillette Stadium on Saturday.
Agudelo didn't take long to shake off the rust, netting his sixth goal of the season in the 53rd minute. Kelyn Rowe then put the game on ice when he scored in the 91st minute.
With the win, the Revolution move to 9-9-6. The loss drops the Fire to 9-10-4 as both teams battle for the fifth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
The goal by Agudelo was set up off a beautiful feed from Chris Tierney. He played a long ball over the top to Agudelo, who let the ball bounce once in the box before flicking it over charging Chicago goalie Sean Johnson with the back of his right heel for the score. A Fire defender nearly cleared the ball out of the net before it crossed the line, but he wasn't in time.
Rowe touched in his goal off a rebound by a shot from Saer Sene just minutes after missing an open net.
Revolution keeper Matt Reis, who was also making his return to the lineup for the first time since March 23rd, was solid in net securing the shutout.
It was a much welcomed return to the lineup for Agudelo, because the Revolution had been shut out in two straight games. The skilled Colombian forward was crafty all night creating chances, including a golden one in the 64th minute when he set up Rowe in the box. Rowe fired a shot on net that Johnson had to make a diving save on.
The New England offense moved the ball well with crisp passes while carrying play for most of the game. Agudelo was the impetus for a lot of that as he distributed the ball well and was dangerous with in on his foot.
The loss snaps a four-game unbeaten streak for the Fire. They got their best chance in the 18th minute when Mike Magee rang a shot off the post. The rebound was put back on net by another Chicago player but that shot was smothered by Reis.