WASHINGTON – A second half goal from Stephen McCarthy and the outstanding play of ‘keeper Matt Reis proved to be the difference as the New England Revolution snatched a badly needed 1-0 win over D.C. United at RFK Stadium.
The result snapped a nine game winless streak in MLS for the Revolution, grabbing all three points as DC missed a number of chances, including a penalty kick in the first half.
DC forward Charlie Davies tested Reis in the 17th minute, marauding forward on a long run before cutting back in front of New England defender Ryan Cochrane. The Revolution net minder was equal to the task, however, and palmed Davies’ effort around the post.
Midfielder Dwayne De Rosario was at the heart of a dangerous move a minute later, dancing around at the top of the box to create space and firing a venomous strike at goal. Reis was forced to dive, but was able to parry the low, curling shot away.
As the chances kept coming for DC, New England looked to spring something on the counter, and a stinging volley from Zak Boggs in the 31st minute tested Bill Hamid, but the young ‘keeper punched the ball clear.
United won a penalty just before halftime when Pat Phelan was whistled for a handball in the box. Davies stepped up to the spot to try and give DC the lead, but failed to convert as his spot kick sailed clear over the bar.
The second half picked up where the first half had left off, as United controlled the run of play, throwing Josh Wolff, De Rosario and Davies forward, but they were unable to trouble Reis.
New England’s introduction of Sainey Nyassi early on in the second half gave the Revolution a quicker option on the right wing, and it wasn’t long before he got behind DC’s defense, only for a low cross to go begging.
De Rosario almost broke the deadlock in the 70th minute. The midfielder trapped a bouncing pass from Chris Pontius, turned defender A.J. Soares, but poked his shot just past Reis’ near post.
Late in the half New England punished DC for their profligacy off a set piece. Midfielder Stephen McCarthy broke free of Ethan White on a corner kick in the 73rd minute, and sent a glancing header past Bill Hamid, off the far post and into the back of the net.
Now down a goal, DC continued to push forward looking for the equalizer. It almost came in the 81st minute, as De Rosario got free off a pass from Fred in the Revolution penalty area. Once again Reis stepped up to deny United, blocking the midfielder’s attempt with his leg.
United kept the pressure on, but couldn’t find the goal they were looking for and fell to their third home loss of the season.
NE -- Stephen McCarthy 2 (Chris Tierney 2) 73
New England Revolution -- Matt Reis, Kevin Alston, Ryan Cochrane (Darrius Barnes 22), A.J. Soares, Chris Tierney, Shalrie Joseph, Stephen McCarthy, Pat Phelan, Zak Boggs (Sainey Nyassi 58), Zack Schilawski (Kenny Mansally 68), Rajko Lekic.
Substitutes Not Used: Franco Coria, Diego Fagundez, Ryan Guy, Bobby Shuttleworth.
D.C. United -- Bill Hamid, Perry Kitchen, Ethan White, Brandon McDonald, Daniel Woolard, Andy Najar, Dwayne De Rosario, Clyde Simms (Joseph Ngwenya 79), Chris Pontius (Austin Da Luz 71), Charlie Davies, Josh Wolff (Fred 63).
Substitutes Not Used: Stephen King, Chris Korb, Kurt Morsink, Steve Cronin.
NE -- Kenny Mansally (caution; Delaying a Restart) 77
Referee: Michael Kennedy
Referee's Assistants: Kermit Quisenberry; Bill Dittmar
4th Official: Jose Carlos Rivero
Time of Game: 1:52
Weather: Partly Cloudy-and-91-degrees