With the New England Revolution’s playoff hopes fading fast, they needed to find a way to win their first road game at RFK Stadium against a suddenly confident team.
Luciano Acosta’s second half goal sunk the Revs on the road once again in a 1-0 loss and has given New England an even bigger hole to climb out of in the Eastern Conference.
The Revs were without Lee Nguyen and Kelyn Rowe due to injury and new signing Kristian Nemeth is still building up fitness ahead of his New England debut. The Revs trotted out a familiar 4-2-3-1 lineup, but with Juan Agudelo as the playmaker with Kei Kamara up top and Diego Fagundez and Teal Bunbury out wide.
The Revs had little to show for the first half, despite starting the match very well. With DC United playing their third game in a week, the Revs were unable to capitalize on the offensive end.
New England mustered just four shots on target out of 15 total shots, two of those long range efforts from Kamara and Je-Vaughn Watson. Watson’s 60th minute shot was pushed wide by Bill Hamid and then minutes later Teal Bunbury was stopped from close range in the 66th.
But disaster struck five minutes later when Llyod Sam sent a cross into the box. Centerback Ike Opara headed the cross towards the back post where an unmarked Acosta was lurking to finish neatly into the corner under an outstretched Cropper.
The switch, the header, and the finish. Deliciousness. #DCU | #DCvNE 1-0 @stradaeducation pic.twitter.com/dX5KprxZcq— D.C. United (@dcunited) August 27, 2017
The Revs would then have to hold on to that one-goal deficit as DC pushed for a second goal to close out the match. Cropper was called upon to keep the Revs in the game late as he made back to back saves on Zoltan Steiber and Patrick Mullins in the 73rd and 77th minutes. A late header by Revs substitute Femi Hollinger-Janzen was caught by Hamid and the final whistle sounded for a 1-0 victory for DC United.
The loss keeps New England winless on the road in 2017 and they are now ten points back of the 5th place NY Red Bulls and seven points back of 6th and 7th place Atlanta and Montreal who have a game in hand.
New England’s next two games will be at home to Orlando and Montreal, two teams below the red line in the Eastern Conference.