FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – New England produced its second five-star performance in three months to jump into the Eastern Conference playoff places and sweep aside Philadelphia with a 5-1 victory at Gillette Stadium on Sunday night.
Kelyn Rowe scored two majestic goals from distance to pace the Revs as they survived a furious Union response at the start of the second half – including Danny Cruz's equalizer after 51 minutes and two disallowed goals in the following four minutes – and strung together four unanswered goals to collect the points.
The victory allowed the Revs to climb into fifth place in the Eastern Conference ahead of Houston on goals scored, while the Union were left to rue what might have occurred if Conor Casey's apparent goal after 55 minutes had stood.
Philadelphia hardly looked like engineering much of anything in a first half where New England controlled most of the play. The home side dictated the terms of Saturday's 2-0 victory against Chicago by pinning the Fire back inside its own end and using its advantage in possession to ultimately carve out the desired openings.
Rowe took advantage of some slack Union defending to open the scoring with a stellar strike from distance after 26 minutes. Chad Barrett exploited the open space in central midfield with an inch-perfect pass. Rowe collected the feed and subsequently lashed a low drive inside the far post to open the scoring.
The visitors eventually mustered a response early in the second half to draw level. It came in the form of a well-worked team goal as a sequence of tidy touches led to a cushioned Casey pass for Cruz to chase behind the Revs' defensive line. Cruz beat Revolution goalkeeper Matt Reis to the ball and tucked into the vacated net to restore parity.
Philadelphia nearly consolidated their advantage in the following moments after putting the ball in the net twice in quick succession. Sebastien Le Toux strayed offside in the buildup before he poked home after 53 minutes, but Casey reacted furiously after referee Allen Chapman ruled out his goal two minutes later after Revolution goalkeeper Reis fumbled a low cross from the right. Chapman said Reis maintained control over the ball, but replays suggested Casey's claims had plenty of merit.
The reprieve permitted the Revs to cobble together a stretch of four goals inside 15 minutes to quell the Union's response and snatch all three points.
Amobi Okugo diverted Juan Agudelo's effort into his own net to give the Revs the lead just short of the hour mark before Rowe uncorked another fine effort from distance for his second and his side's third goal on the night. Diego Fagundez corralled a Scott Caldwell pass and tucked away the fourth after 71 minutes before Agudelo grabbed the goal his performance deserved with a clever clipped finish two minutes later to complete the rout.
Okugo completed a difficult and frustrating night for the Union by procuring a second yellow card in second-half stoppage time to ensure the effects of this second half will linger through Saturday's match against Montreal.
MLSsoccer.com Men of the Match
|Rank||Player||What We Saw|
|1||Kelyn Rowe||The UCLA product was simply unstoppable, netting two brilliant goals in one of his best performances of the season|
|2||Diego Fagundez||Certainly lookde up for it as he was one of the Revs' most consistent attackers, coming away with a goal and an assist|
|3||Juan Agudelo||Guilty of an awful miss in first half stoppage time but bounced back to force Okugo's own goal, then netted a fine goal of his own to cap the rout|