Teal Bunbury is finally on the scoreboard with his new club. His old one paid the price.
Bunbury tapped in the first of two New England goals in extra time to lift the Revolution to a 2-0 victory Saturday against visiting Sporting Kansas City at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass. It was his first goal in 20 months and his only tally since Sporting KC traded him to New England over the offseason.
There were “definitely a lot of emotions, but most importantly I’m just excited we were able to get a win,” Bunbury said. “It feels good to get my first goal and that’s really what I’m happy about.”
It came with a man advantage.
Sporting KC played the final 16 minutes down a man after defender Aurelien Collin was shown the first straight red card of his career for a dangerous challenge on Diego Fagundez.
“After reviewing the tape, we think it was extremely harsh,” Sporting KC manager Peter Vermes said of the red card. “It was probably a yellow card, at best.”
However, Sporting KC responded to the call with its best scoring opportunity on a rainy, cold night.
Benny Feilhaber secured a point-blank chance on the tail end of a counterattack less than two minutes after Collin was sent to the locker room, but he lifted the shot high and wide of target.
“We should’ve scored on the counter,” Vermes said.
It was the last sign of offensive progress for Sporting KC, which shifted to a defensive formation trying to preserve the scoreless draw.
That didn’t last, either.
After the ball bounced his way in front of an open goal, Bunbury used his stomach to finish off his first goal in eight matches with the Revolution. Bunbury scored 19 goals in his four seasons with Sporting KC.
Lee Nguyen added a penalty kick in the 95th minute for good measure, securing New England’s first victory against Sporting KC in the two teams’ last seven regular-season meetings.
“I thought we had a lot of good play leading up to (the red card), and we were playing away from home,” Vermes said. “It’s unfortunate what transpired there with the red card.”
Sporting KC, 3-2-2, couldn’t rely on fresh legs to help it overcome the man disadvantage. The club used two early subs — Alex Martinez and Jacob Peterson — after Toni Dovale (illness) and Sal Zizzo (quad strain) were forced to leave the game.
That left Vermes with only one substitute, which he used to bring in Lawrence Olum to shore up his defense.
“I thought we dealt with the situation pretty well,” Vermes said. “I thought we were organized. I thought we were keeping them out of the box. We managed that last 15 minutes pretty well.”
Bunbury eventually broke the scoreless tie, though it took his third chance from close range. He fired two shots on goal in the first half, but Matt Besler blocked the first attempt and the second try sailed just over the crossbar.
Those chances followed another quality chance from New England forward Jerry Bengtson, who put a bad touch on the ball after finding himself one-on-one with goalkeeper Eric Kronberg. Replays showed he should have been whistled offside anyway.
Sporting KC fired 10 shots in the opening half, but it put none of them on cage. Zizzo received the top look on goal in the 26th minute, which he fired high.
Sporting KC returns to action on May 4, when it plays host to Columbus at Sporting Park.