It wasn’t pretty, but the Black-and-Red got a point and retained their spot atop the tables in the Eastern Conference with a 1-1 draw with the New England Revolution. The game was ‘weird’ for lack of a better word, definitely a tale of two halves for both teams. The first half was dictated by the Revolution, they applied high pressure and kept the action in DC’s end of the field for much of the half. The second half was a mental breakdown for the team with the lead as they would have to play the game with nine players. DC took advantage of it and got the equalizer to leave New England with a point.
The Revolution were able to take over the first half with pressure from their wings and midfield, Jermaine Jones was brilliant in this game. Almost singlehandedly engineering or having a hand in every single scoring opportunity his team created. Charlie Davies was opportunistic in this game, he was marked very well outside of a set piece in which he got loose on a rebound. Juan Agudelo was dynamic as well, he was able to get wide and break down his defender at times. He used his speed to create trouble for the tough backline of United. Davies scored the first goal of the game in stoppage time in the first half, New England had just won a corner. The ball was an out-swinger from the left corner delivered by Chris Tierney, Agudelo was able to win the header over DC’s Sean Franklin. It was well struck, but Bill Hamid was in a great position for the save, only he wasn’t able to catch it as it was at point blank range. The rebound wasn’t able to be cleared because Davies was right there, waiting to tap it in the back of the net.
At the start of the second half, it seemed as if New England was in control of the game. The Revolution had a 1-0 lead, then everything went left. The game was physical from the start, but New England’s players seemed to lose their mind. They started to commit silly fouls that would cost their team, Tierney fouls Pontius after a DC corner by kicking him in the right knee on a challenge. The official made the correct call as Tierney clearly wasn’t going after the ball, that red card would bring the Revolution down to just 10 men. Once Tierney went out, United started to pick it up a bit in terms of their attack but it wasn’t quite right. They were using just a touch too much at times as the ball wasn’t moving quick enough. The boneheaded decisions by the Revolution didn’t stop there as Lee Ngueyn elbowed Davy Arnaud in the face to pick up his second yellow card of the game. New England would play the final 20 minutes with just nine men.
Michael Farfan got the start and went down in the first half which brought Jairo Arrieta into the game. DC also brought Taylor Kemp on in place of Korb in the 65th minute with the hopes that Kemp would provide better service into the box for better scoring chances. Newly acquired Facundo Coria got his first minutes of action for DC as well, coming on and contributing immediately. He was another player that showed he could combine with teammates and it payed off as he was able to push the ball wide to Kemp on the sequence in which United tied the game. Once Kemp got the ball out wide, he put a dangerous ball into the box that never left the ground. Arrieta made a brilliant run to the near post and tapped the ball in before the keeper could react. The goal was scored in the 80th minute.
- Kofi Opare. The centre back proved his worth to the backline yet again, routinely cutting off attacks and winning every battle in the air. Continues to sacrifice his body to block shots
- Jairo Arrieta. He’s been able to come in lately and impact the game, he’s much better joining the attack from midfield rather than being the anchor up top
- Facundo Coria. It was just his first time on the field with his new teammates, but he showed an ability to combine with others, which can go along way to helping that attack as Rolfe is one of the few that can do that
- Chris Rolfe. He’s the linchpin to the attack, when he’s getting touches the team is dangerous. Any time there’s a drought in touches for him, the team’s passing and attack becomes very sloppy. Also displayed his ability to defend getting into the box and helping dig out a couple of dangerous balls
- Defense. DC did a great job against a team with a ton of dynamic athletes in their attack, even if players got beat, they recovered quickly and finished the play