There was an added buzz at the start of the game with D.C. United celebrating the 20th anniversary of the first MLS game ever played at RFK. Instead of the home side starting the game with energy and confidence, it was the visiting Revolution. New England created several quality scoring chances within the first 20 minutes of the match. Gershon Koffie put several blistering shots on frame, the first that narrowly went wide of the post and the second that hit the top of the crossbar on a counter attack. The Revolution dominated play during the first stanza, in terms of possession and quality of play.
Still, it was the home side that went into the intermission up a score. Marcelo Sarvas who earned a yellow card 20 minutes into the match, which means he’ll miss the next game against Chicago. Marcelo made it up to his team in the 32nd minute when he was taken down in the penalty box, drawing a penalty kick. Lamar Neagle, not Chris Rolfe or Fabian Espindola stepped up and took the shot. He easily beat Bobby Shuttleworth with a shot to the left corner, while the keeper dove right, giving his team a 1-0 lead. Despite not having the best of showings in the half, D.C. United did have a few stretches of quality passes that resulted in four of their eight shots being put on goal. The Revolution took six shots, three were blocked by D.C. United defenders and three were just plain off target.
There were two key injuries in the first half, New England’s Chris Tierney went down after passing to a teammate on the flank, it was a non-contact injury. Then Fabi went down late in the half after taking a rather questionable shot from about 35 yards out, he was replaced by Alvaro Saborio and London Woodberry took Tierny’s place.
The second half was a bit of a different game, the home side seemed to take over the match. For seemingly the first time all season, both wingers were heavily involved in the attack and it opened up the field a bit more. Both Nyarko and Neagle used their speed to create trouble for New England, more importantly they tracked back in defense and won the ball several times. Ending a Revolution attack and starting a counter for D.C. United.
There would be a couple more chances for the home side, but nothing would come of it. Nick DeLeon really got into the attack in the second half, getting forward and facilitating to both of his wings as needed.
Luciano Acosta came in around the 70th minute, 16 minutes later he would score one of the best goals of the week and possibly one of the better goals of the season. Again the magic came with him and Saborio up front, on a counter the ball found Sabo up top who played it wide to a running Acosta. Lucho had the defender at his mercy, sprinting back trying to cut off an angle for a pass back to Sabo or a shot. The confident 21-year old did neither, he opted to chip it from outside of the box. Apparently he saw the keeper a bit off his line and went for it, it was struck perfectly.
Perfectly measured. Luciano Acosta catches Shuttleworth off his line with a beautiful chip. https://t.co/XuHgBQMZyn
— Major League Soccer (@MLS) April 23, 2016
That wouldn’t be the last score of the match as three minutes later, Saborio took advantage of a defensive blunder and beat Shuttleworth easily for the third and final goal. While it was a good win and a strong showing in the second half, D.C. United still has a ways to go. Marcelo Sarvas will be missing next week when the team plays the Fire in Chicago after getting issued a yellow in this match. So Jared Jeffrey may get a second start next to DeLeon in the middle of the field next week. Also, the Black-and-Red’s head coach will be back to stalking the sidelines as his suspension has been served.