Aaron Kovar scored his first career MLS goal but the Seattle Sounders fell 2-1 in their Saturday night road matchup with the New England Revolution at Gillette Stadium.
Midfielder Lee Nguyen tallied the first goal for New England on a controversial first-half penalty kick call, with forward Femi Hollinger-Janzen tallying the game-winner in the 80th minute for the Revs.
Kovar gave Seattle the lead in just the 7th minute after he corralled a clearance attempt by New England goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth just outside the Revs penalty box. The Homegrown 22-year-old made a nifty move to side-step Revs defender Chris Tierney before lashing his shot past a diving Shuttleworth, affording the visitors the early 1-0 advantage.
New England would equalize in the 24th minute, however, after Sounders midfielder Erik Friberg was whistled for a handball in the Revs penalty area by referee Fotis Bazakos. Replays appeared to show the ball hit Friberg in the midsection, but Ngyuen nonetheless converted from the spot to knot the contest at 1-1.
The Sounders were dealt another blow in the first half when captain Brad Evans was forced to exit after he was hit in the head by a shot attempt by Revs forward Kei Kamara. Rookie Tony Alfaro made his first career MLS appearance in Evans’ place for the duration of the contest.
Seattle had perhaps their best look at a go-ahead tally in the 71st minute after Friberg teed up a look from just outside the Revs penalty box. But his attempt went wide, keeping the game level.
New England would find the game-winning goal in the 80th minute on a pinpoint distance strike from Hollinger-Janzen, who blasted his attempt past Seattle ‘keeper Stefan Frei to give the Revs what would turn about to be the decisive advantage.
With the loss, Seattle fell to 4-7-1 on the season and fell to 0-4-1 away from CenturyLink Field. The Sounders continue their three-game East Coast swing with a Wednesday fixture against DC United, before ending the road trip with a clash with the New York Red Bulls on June 19.