Center back Jack Elliott, who came into the contest with only one career MLS goal, had a first-half brace to lift the Union to a wild 3-2 win over the slumping Revs on Saturday at Gillette Stadium.
Elliott’s first goal came in the 14th minute on a clever backheel off a set piece and he tapped in a rebound after a Fafa Picault blast struck the post 10 minutes later, becoming the first Union defender to ever score two goals in a game.
After the Revs stormed back to tie it on second-half goals from Andrew Farrell and Wilfried Zahibo, Antonio Mlinar Delamea was whistled for a penalty for handing the ball in the box and Picault buried the ensuing penalty kick in the 76th minute to put Philly back in front.
Andre Blake preserved the lead with a huge late save to help the Union eclipse the Revs in points (30 to New England’s 29) with both teams battling for one of the final playoff spots in the East.
- 14' — PHI — Jack Elliott WATCH
- 24' — PHI — Jack Elliott WATCH
- 46' — NE — Andrew Farrell WATCH
- 64' — NE — Wilfried Zahibo WATCH
- 76' — PHI — Fafa Picault (PK) WATCH
THE BIG PICTURE: It’s been quite a week for the Union, who advanced to their third U.S. Open Cup final in five years on Wednesday before climbing back into playoff position with their third win in their last four road games. In between those two results, they hired sporting director Ernst Tanner, who must be impressed with his new club. The Revolution, meanwhile, are now winless in their last six with four losses in that stretch. After such a promising start, Brad Friedel needs to figure out a way to get New England’s season back on track.
MOMENT OF THE MATCH: It might seem silly to put a handball here in a game that featured five goals. But the Revs had all the momentum in the world before Delamea’s penalty and looked destined to score a third goal. If not for the call — which drew no complaints from the New England defender — the result could have easily been reversed.
MAN OF THE MATCH: Few would have predicted a backup center back to have such a big offensive impact on the game. But getting the start ahead of the injured Mark McKenzie, Elliott showcased Philly’s depth and set the tone for the game.