Jun 30, 2018; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Revolution forward Teal Bunbury (10) celebrates after scoring a goal during the first half against the D.C. United at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports
The New England Revolution defeated D.C. United 3-2 Saturday night at Gillette Stadium. The result extended the Revs’ unbeaten streak to six games in league play and marked their first victory against United in a regular season game since May 2014.
Here are three takeaways from the result:
Too many fouls
The Revolution conceded two goals at home off set pieces against arguably the worst team in the conference, if not the league, thanks to some ill-advised fouling. New England did not play its best Saturday night, but some smarter defending likely would have granted them a clean sheet, as D.C. struggled to generate much in the run of play.
United’s first goal may have looked like a fluke given that it came from a deflection off Yamil Asad’s face, but a free kick was called in the first place because of a foul by New England’s Luis Caicedo on Luciano Acosta.
However, you can take that foul back even further and blame Claude Dielna, who lost possession on the left flank, which resulted in Caicedo taking down Acosta.
Dielna’s night didn’t get any better, either. He fouled Darren Mattocks in the penalty area late in the second half, which resulted in United’s second goal.
New England nearly allowed D.C. United to steal points. The opponent had plenty of chances off set pieces, as the Revs committed 11 fouls. Revolution coach Brad Friedel was rightly displeased with how much his team gave up by fouling.
Penilla even better than his 2 goals
Cristian Penilla deserved to be match MVP.
His performance resulted in two goals, including the game-winner, and the quality of his play throughout the night truly set him apart from the rest of the players on the field.
Penilla followed through on plays, kept a cool head to convert a penalty kick in the game’s late stages, helped out on defense and was inventive in the attack throughout the night. He deserved the praise that followed his seventh and eighth goals of the season.
In addition to his goals, Penilla had a respectable passing accuracy of 77 percent and had 46 touches, second-most among the Revolution’s attacking players.
Penilla also combined well with Diego Fagundez, which served the Revolution well. Fagundez and Krisztian Nemeth assisted Penilla’s opening goal in the 18th minute.
Revs still find way to win
It wasn’t pretty, but the Revolution found a way to secure three points.
Once D.C. United’s Yamil Asad tied the game at 2-2 from the penalty spot, the Revs had just seven minutes, not including stoppage time, to find a game-winner.
Credit goes to Andrew Farrell for making the run that led to the game-winning penalty kick, which Penilla scored.
Saturday night’s contest had all the makings of a trap game. New England hadn’t beaten D.C. in a regular-season game since 2014.
The Revolution (7-4-6, 27 points) had a few negligent moments this time around, but did enough to overcome them. Taking the current Eastern Conference standings into account is a stark reminder of how important winning at home is; The Revs occupy fourth place, but would have been just two points ahead of the Chicago Fire instead of four if they had tied D.C.
As it stands, the Revs are now only four points out of second place. Atlanta United leads the conference with 37 points.