In a clash of two Eastern Conference foes simultaneously searching for three points, the New England Revolution defeated Orlando City SC, 3-0, on Saturday night at Gillette Stadium.
The Lions, who were missing the vital of presence of Kaka and others, struggled to get a stranglehold on the proceedings and were under considerable pressure from the first minute onwards. In light of that, the Revs were first rewarded for their stellar play in the 43rd minute through Diego Fagundez.
After the ball was driven forward for Charlie Davies and laid off for an a patiently waiting Lee Nguyen, the latter chipped through a darting Fagundez. With one touch and a smooth volleying motion, Fagundez drove home a left-footed strike past a helpless Tally Hall.
The same high-pressure system paid dividends in the 84th minute through the foot of Juan Agudelo. He held his run in teetering fashion along Orlando's back-line, only to side-foot home a perfectly weighted through ball from Teal Bunbury.
The fun did not stop there, though, as Nguyen and Chris Tierney combined in the waning moments of stoppage time to extend the lead to three goals via the left-back.
Prior to all three tallies, premier opportunities arose through Tierney's attacking presence along the left touchline. A driven cross from the MLS All-Star in the 12th minute nearly resulted in Davies' tenth tally of the year, while another service in the 23rd minute was inches from conjuring up an Orlando City own goal.
Outside of Tierney's first half presence, Fagundez, Davies, and Kelyn Rowe produced a flurry of chances in the 18th minute. Davies was brilliantly denied by Hall on the initial chance, but not before Fagundez mustered up a side volley that clunked against the left post.
When the second half commenced, the narrative was more of the same, as Hall bailed his team out on multiple occasions and the Revs pelted Orlando's goal with shot after shot. Most notably, Hall flashed his legs out in the mold of a hockey goaltender to miraculously halt a driven strike from Tierney in the 56th minute.
With the majority of possession throughout the game and a constant presence in Orlando's half, the Revs were rarely threatened and comfortably sailed to three points. They next face off against Toronto FC on September 13 at BMO Field, where another clash with playoff implications will unfold.