D.C. United have reached the top.
A second-half strike from substitute Maicon Santos nullified the New England Revolution’s furious comeback from a two-goal deficit, and handed United a 3-2 victory at RFK Stadium.
The three points puts them in the top spot in the Eastern Conference, and left the Revolution languishing in 7th place, with just one win in seven away matches.
As has been the case lately, United started off quickly. They went ahead in the 15th minute, thanks to a header from center back Brandon McDonald, who rose highest to flick Branko Boskovic’s long-range free kick up and over goalkeeper Matt Reis.
On the stroke of halftime, United added a second, as McDonald’s center back partner Dejan Jakovic poked home a rebound to give the home side a 2-0 lead heading into the break.
Immediately after the break, however, the Revolution sprung to life, led by hard-charging forward Saer Sene. A two-minute stretch of all-out attack began in the 48th minute, when Benny Feilhaber unleashed a long shot that United keeper Bill Hamid parried away. Sene was in the right place to calmly side-foot the rebound into the lower corner, bringing his season tally to seven.
The goal only further energized the Revs, and in the 50th minute, they snatched the equalizer. Center back A.J Soares beat his marker to the near post on a corner kick and glanced a header into the far side netting for his first goal of the season.
Maicon Santos’s winner arrived moments after he came on. The Brazilian striker spun away from several New England defenders and slipped the ball to Dwayne De Rosario in space on the left side of the Revs’ area. De Rosario — who was standing on 98 career goals — might’ve gone to goal, but instead cleverly cut the ball back into the open space, where he assumed Maicon Santos would be.
He was correct. Maicon Santos was there, and he one-timed the ball into the lower corner for his 7th goal of the season.
New England had one final shout to earn a share of the points. In the 90th minute, Kelyn Rowe’s header looked to be the equalizer, but Hamid leapt and pulled off a fingertip save to ensure all three points for United.
Both sides now how a break from MLS action, due to the international calendar, but they do have US Open Cup matches on Tuesday. United (8-4-3, 27 points) take on the Richmond Kickers on Tuesday, before a trip to Philadelphia on June 16. New England (4-7-1, 13 points), are away to the Harrisburg City Islanders, and then return to league play against the Chicago Fire on June 2.
Lineups and boxscore (MLSsoccer.com)
Opta Chalkboard (MLSsoccer.com)