After becoming the first team to concede a goal to D.C. United in the opening 10 minutes of a match this season, the New England Revolution responded with a strong second half to down the league’s worst club, 2-1, on Saturday at RFK Stadium.
Dimitry Imbongo and Diego Fagundez scored for the Revolution while Luis Silva found the net for the second time in as many matches in a D.C. kit.
After playing to a scoreless draw earlier this year at Gillette Stadium and losing to United, 3-1, in the U.S. Open Cup, the Revs (8-7-6, 30 points) scuffled through the first half against an injury-riddled D.C. lineup, but did enough to win their second in a row. The home side, meanwhile, lost for the fourth time in five matches and remain stuck on 10 points (2-15-4).
New England leveled the score in the 54th minute when a cross by Chris Tierney found its way through a host of bodies and landed at Imbongo’s feet. Imbongo beat Taylor Kemp on the run and booted it by United goalkeeper Joe Willis to draw the Revs even at 1-1 and secure his third of the season.
Nine minutes later, the Revolution took the lead when Fagundez scored for the second time in as many matches by heading a juicy rebound into an empty net. Revs forward Saer Sene set up the play by beating Kemp, switching to his left foot and blistering a shot toward the upper 90. The beautiful strike beat Willis, bounced off the crossbar, then off the far post and landed directly in front of Fagundez for the tap-in, his seventh of the season.
With a steady rain falling at RFK, New England’s Kevin Alston – a native of Silver Spring, Md. – entered the match in the 83rd minute, marking his first appearance since being diagnosed with leukemia in April.
United took a rare lead on Silva’s eighth-minute goal. After a turnover by Stephen McCarthy, United midfielder John Thorrington played a strong ball to Silva, who was standing roughly 25 yards outside the box. He quickly turned against McCarthy and blasted one into the lower left corner of the net. The dipper bounced under the outstretched arms of a diving Bobby Shuttleworth, helping United score first for the fourth time this season. The goal tied Silva with United’s two leading scorers coming into the match: Dwayne De Rosario and Lionard Pajoy.
United, as they have been so often this season, were shorthanded. Midfielder Chris Pontius was out with a left leg injury while Perry Kitchen suffered a hip pointer in training and saw his streak of 51 consecutive starts come to an end. De Rosario subbed on in the 66th minute, marking a return to action after he missed three matches.
New England will look to win its third straight next Sunday when they play host to another struggling club in Toronto FC while United welcome Montreal to RFK Stadium on Saturday.