FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Jose Moreno made his first MLS start and scored the opening goal in the sixth minute, but Maicon Santos and Chris Pontius responded for D.C. United to hand the visitors a 2-1 win over the New England Revolution on Saturday afternoon at Gillette Stadium.
It was Moreno’s first MLS goal after making his debut last week at FC Dallas and it gave the Revs (2-4-0, 6 pts.) an early lead for the second straight home game. The advantage was short-lived, however, as Santos scored the equalizer for United (2-2-2, 8 pts.) in the 19th minute and Pontius bagged the game winner in the 82nd minute just three minutes after entering the game as a substitute.
D.C. goalkeeper Joe Willis made six saves in the back-and-forth affair which saw the Revs (20) and United (22) combine for 42 attempted shots.
Shalrie Joseph’s absence through suspension forced the Revs to shuffle their midfield with Kelyn Rowe partnering Clyde Simms in the middle, flanked by Ryan Guy and Lee Nguyen on the wings.
Moreno wasted little time making an impact in his debut start, putting the Revs on top in the sixth minute. Nguyen’s clever pass sprung Saer Sène down the left wing and the Frenchman delivered a teasing cross into the box for Moreno, who volleyed home from eight yards out.
The visitors pulled level shortly thereafter when Santos put the finishing touch on a spectacular set piece. Revolution goalkeeper Matt Reis was at full-stretch to deny Danny Cruz’s deflected drive in the 13th minute, but he could do nothing to stop Santos’ close-range effort six minutes later. The play began from a Nick DeLeon corner kick which Dwayne De Rosario met with a majestic bicycle kick, setting up Santos for the glancing header.
Nguyen was well-positioned on the post to prevent D.C. from pulling ahead from another corner kick in the 22nd minute as the midfielder cleared Robbie Russell’s goal-bound header off the line. Six minutes later the Revs hit the woodwork when Willis pushed Chris Tierney’s 25-yard free kick off the left post, before Tierney narrowly missed with another free kick in the 34th minute.
Tierney was involved again early in the second half, slipping Sène into the box with an inch-perfect pass in the 54th minute. Sène’s left-footed shot was saved by Willis and Moreno’s attempted bicycle kick on the follow-up looped over the crossbar. Willis denied Sène again in the 70th minute, diving to his right to smother a 10-yard header from Guy’s cross.
Reis came up big at the other end in the 81st minute to stop Josh Wolff’s bouncing effort, but he was helpless to prevent Pontius from scoring the winner in the 82nd minute. DeLeon’s header sent Pontius into the left side of the box, where he shook his marker before drilling a shot into the far side netting.
Both Guy (83rd) and Sène (91st) had late chances to grab an equalizer for the Revs, but Willis was on hand to stop both efforts and extend United’s unbeaten run to four games.
The Revs will be off next weekend and won’t return to action until Saturday, April 28, when they’ll visit the New York Red Bulls in another Eastern Conference showdown. Kickoff from Red Bull Arena is set for 3:30 p.m.
New England Revolution vs. D.C. United
April 14, 2012 – Gillette Stadium (Foxborough, Mass.)
D.C. United 2, New England Revolution 1
NE: Jose Moreno (Saër Sène, Lee Nguyen) 6
D.C.: Maicon Santos (Dwayne De Rosario, Nick DeLeon) 19
D.C.: Chris Pontius (Nick DeLeon) 82
New England Revolution: Matt Reis ©, Chris Tierney, A.J. Soares, Stephen McCarthy, Kevin Alston (Fernando Cardenas 86), Ryan Guy, Kelyn Rowe, Clyde Simms, Lee Nguyen (Benny Feilhaber 55), Jose Moreno (Bjorn Runstrom 79), Saër Sène
Substitutes Not Used: Bobby Shuttleworth, Darrius Barnes, John Lozano, Alec Purdie
STATS: Shots 20, Shots on Target 7, Corner Kicks 6, Saves 5, Fouls 10, Offsides 1, Passes Completed (percentage) 348 (67.8%), Possession 48.1%
D.C. United: Joe Willis, Daniel Woolard, Dejan Jakovic (Chris Korb 59), Brandon McDonald, Robbie Russell, Perry Kitchen, Nick DeLeon, Danny Cruz, Maicon Santos (Chris Pontius 79), Hamdi Salihi (Josh Wolff 65), Dwayne De Rosario ©
Substitutes Not Used: Bill Hamid, Branko Boskovic, Stephen King, Andy Najar
STATS: Shots 22, Shots on Target 7, Corner Kicks 10, Saves 6, Fouls 11, Offsides 3, Passes Completed (percentage) 385 (69.4%), Possession 51.9%
* Note that all statistics are unofficial
D.C.: Brandon McDonald (caution) 33
D.C.: Perry Kitchen (caution) 73
NE: Benny Feilhaber (caution) 92+
Referee: Jorge Gonzalez
Assistant Referees: Greg Barkey, Matthew Kreitzer
Fourth Official: John McCloskey
Weather: Sunny and 68 degrees
New England Revolution: 2-4-0 (6 pts.)
D.C. United: 2-2-2 (8 pts.)
- Saturday’s match was the 57th all-time, regular-season meeting between the Revolution and D.C. United and the 64th overall meeting between the two clubs, who have played four MLS Cup playoff matches and three U.S. Open Cup contests
- The loss extends D.C.’s lead in the all-time, regular season series between the two clubs to 26-23-8 ... the Revs own a 15-10-4 advantage in Foxborough – including a 9-4-4 record at Gillette Stadium
- The loss snapped the Revs’ unbeaten streak of six games (5-0-1) against United since the start of the 2009 season ... last season, the Revs won their home opener, 2-1, on March 26, and later picked up their first road victory of the season, a 1-0 win at D.C., on July 20
- The loss also ended a five-game home unbeaten streak against D.C. United (4-0-1), which was the fourth-longest active win-streak at home … the Revs still hold three home unbeaten streaks of: six against Toronto FC (4-0-2) dating back to 2007, eight against Dallas (7-0-1) dating back to 2004 and 14 against New York (10-0-4) dating back to 2002.
- After a 2-1 finish, eight of the last nine meetings between the two teams have been one-goal games – dating back to Aug. 20, 2008 … the Revs’ 2-0 win on April 3, 2010 was the largest winning margin for either team during this stretch
- The Revs’ sixth-minute goal was the club’s fourth goal this season scored in the first 15 minutes, tying New York for the league lead for goals in that time window … this marks the second straight home game in which the Revs struck in the first 15 minutes, following a first-minute goal in the home-opener on March 24
- D.C.’s 82nd-minute goal marked the second consecutive week that the Revs conceded a goal in the final 15 minutes, costing the team points … last Thursday, the Revs gave up a stoppage time goal in Dallas and suffered a 1-0 loss
- With Shalrie Joseph unavailable while serving a one-game MLS suspension, Matt Reis wore the captain’s armband for the first time since July 17, 2011 … Joseph had worn the captain’s armband for 20 consecutive games since last July
- Jose Moreno made his first career start at forward … Moreno made his Revolution – and MLS – debuts as a substitute last Thursday at Dallas
- Moreno also recorded his first career goal in the sixth minute on a cross from Saër Sène … Moreno has logged 90 total minutes in two appearances
- Saër Sène recorded his first career assist on Jose Moreno’s sixth-minute goal
- Lee Nguyen also recorded his first career assist – a secondary assist – on Jose Moreno’s sixth-minute goal
- The multiple assist effort from Saër Sène and Lee Nguyen marked the second multiple-assist goal this season, and first since Kevin Alston and Shalrie Joseph assisted on Chris Tierney’s 13th-minute goal in LA on March 31
- Bjorn Runstrom made his Revolution – and MLS – debut in a substitute appearance, replacing Jose Moreno in the 79th minute
- Bjorn Runstrom’s appearance marked the 13th Revolution player to make a club debut this season, matching the total number of club debuts in the full 34-game, 2011 season
- Benny Feilhaber replaced Lee Nguyen in the 55th minute, marking Feilhaber’s first appearance since suffering a left peroneal strain on March 17 at Kansas City … Feilhaber moved to central midfield while Kelyn Rowe moved to left wing
- Fernando Cardenas entered the game as a third forward in the 86th minute – replacing Kevin Alston – as the Revs shifted to a three man backline for the remaining four minutes … Cardenas has made substitute appearances in the last four games, dating back to March 24 against Portland
- Clyde Simms made his first career start against D.C. United, after he logged 182 appearances – including 147 starts – in seven seasons with D.C. United, from 2005-2011 … the Revs selected Simms in Stage 2 of the 2011 Re-Entry Process