Everything you need to know about the Revolution’s 2-0 win over DC United Sunday night in quickie form:
Two late goals seals fourth win away from Gillette, and fifth clean sheet: Even with one shot on-target through the first 85 minutes, New England needed a goal to not only further increase their confidence, but also to maintain pace with the top half of the Eastern Conference. Boy, did they get that, as goals by Gustavo Bou (86’) and Adam Buksa (90’) off nice assists on both by Cristian Penilla lifted the Revolution to a tremendous 2-nil win over DC United on the banks of the Anacostia River. The win puts the Revolution back into fifth place in the East and was their second consecutive win, the first time they’ve done that in 2020, their fourth win away from Gillette this year — they haven’t done that since 2015 — and their second win in the District, the first time they’ve beaten DC twice in a season since 2013. They are now unbeaten in their last three, and that win was the fifth clean sheet for the Revs in 2020.
Revs dominate first half, but nothing to show for it: With 61 percent of the ball through the first half, a growing theme recently, New England definitely controlled the tempo. The Revolution did, however, have difficulty in finding the target; only one shot by Lee Nguyen on a cross by DeJuan Jones found its way on frame, with longtime DC goalkeeper Bill Hamid making the save. The Revs defending also kept DC honest, with only two shots saved by Matt Turner in a scoreless first 45 minutes.
Two changes for Revolution, Polster hurt: Bruce Arena only needed to make two changes to the team that beat Montreal, 3-1, at midweek. Jones slid into the left back role in place of Alexander Büttner, who tweaked his hammy Wednesday and was on the Not Medically Cleared ahead of Sunday’s game. In addition, Matt Polster returned to the XI in place of Kelyn Rowe. But Polster’s night only lasted 42 minutes as he was involved in a freak accident where Yordy Reyna’s boot accidentally conked the midfielder in the head, putting him into the concussion protocols; he left the pitch under assistance. Tommy McNamara entered in first-half stoppage time in his place. Diego Fagundez was a second-half sub for his 254th appearance, tying Matt Reis for second all-time in Revs appearances.
Gustavo Bou: The Argentine now has two goals in his last two matches to take him into the club lead with five goals on the season. He had a great dummy on a near-goal by Teal Bunbury, and tried to feed Fagundez for a chance.
Cristian Penilla: Two assists, we’re not going to lie — great play in the 23-minute run-out for the Ecuadorian.
Matt Polster: Before he found himself knocked into next month, Polster was outstanding in passing (39 of 44 successful), and his tracking back was superb. A solid return to the XI after the suspension, and the hope is he won’t miss too much time.
None: A pretty dominant performance yields no one worthy of a demerit.
LET’S TALK ABOUT STATS, BABY
Currently four points adrift of fourth-place Orlando City
56 percent possession
17 shots, 3 on-target; 5 blocked
81 percent passing accuracy
WHAT SWEENS REALLY THINKS RIGHT NOW
Honestly? That was worrisome: with all the possession and all the chances New England had, to not come away with three points Sunday would have been pretty tough to take. And never mind the chances: to not bury one, when five of your shots were blocked, and you only had one shot on-frame in the first 85 minutes…. the Revs really need to be more cutthroat and more creative against bunkered-in defenses. We’ve said that once this week. We say that again now.
Still, a good win. A needed win. And if Orlando City can fall to Dallas tonight, New England can get into the top three in a couple of weeks. Patience, my friends… but not patient like the Revs were in scoring tonight.
You have to feel for Buksa. To get that goal and to immediately fall to the ground in thanks… it’s been a while, and that hopefully will give him confidence moving forward.
THEY SAID IT
“It was a big performance from the guys; we knew coming in, DC had struggled and I think coach Ben Olsen had put a fire into those guys, that they’re gonna come out, and fight and Bruce told us we got it was gonna be the hardest game of the season. It’s gonna be gritty, they’re gonna battle. I’m proud of the guys for just staying in, staying focused. Obviously the goal didn’t come early, they came late but everybody staked in in, and obviously getting the clean sheet was huge, but you know getting Penilla two assists, getting Gustavo another goal again, and getting Adam on the score sheet. I think it gives a lot of confidence for everybody, and great performances from everybody.” — Andrew Farrell on Revolution Postgame Live
The Revolution will be back in action next Saturday as they host Nashville SC for the first time at Gillette. That one is slated to begin at 7:30 p.m.