The story has been the same for the New England Revolution in the first two months of the season. They've played very well at times, haven't scored and then had to settle for draws.
That wasn't entirely the case today at RFK Stadium as D.C. United used two late goals and a first half penalty to beat the Revs 3-0. It's only the second loss of the season for New England but when it's paired with just a single win and five draws, it's a tough place to be as DCU pass the Revs in the standings with the win.
The game started out fairly brightly for the Revolution, as DC was forced to scramble and block two early chances though the rebounds also became scoring chances. First in the early stages it was Gershon Koffie firing just wide of the post in the third minute after a shot from Kelyn Rowe was initially blocked. Two minutes later it was Teal Bunbury's turn, this time volleying a Diego Fagundez blocked shot off the cross bar.
After squandering a solid first half hour, it began to unravel for the Revolution when Chris Tierney had to be subbed off with a hamstring injury. He was replaced by London Woodberry with Je-Vaughn Watson switching over to play left back in Tierney's absence.
If the forced substitution was bad enough, it was compounded in the 32nd minute when Watson obstructed Marcelo Sarvas on the far edge of the penalty. Whether or not Sarvas sold the call is debatable, but Watson did dive in unnecessarily in a spot where Sarvas barely had room to even cross the ball.
Lamar Neagle stepped up to the spot and forced Bobby Shuttleworth the wrong way for an early 1-0 DC lead. DC was also forced to use an early sub when Fabian Espindola went down just before halftime with Alvaro Saborio replacing him.
Despite holding a solid 55% edge in possession, the Revolution's shooting woes continued as they only put three of their thirteen shots on target and rarely troubled Travis Worra in the DCU net outside of the first five minutes. With the Revolution pushig high for a late equalizer, super sub Luciano Acosta made the Revs pay in the 86th with a world class chip off the underside of the bar to double DC's lead.
The misery would not end for the Revolution there, as Saborio would latch on to a failed Farrell clearance in the 90th minute and slot home past Shuttleworth. Saborio was initially flagged for offside, however center referee Alan Kelly and his assistant discussed the play and ruled Farrell's clearance attempt to be a deliberate play on the ball, thus negating the offside call and the goal stood.
Regardless of the final scoreline, the two pressing issues for New England are the health of Tierney and their inability to score goals. Like the first meeting between these two teams, DC United did block a lot of shots (6 in March and 5 today) but for the second straight meeting the Revolution generated more than enough scoring opportunities, either not making the final pass or not hitting the target being their undoing.