D.C. United made the most of their third straight game at home, defeating the New England Revolution 3-0 at RFK Stadium on Saturday. Lamar Neagle opened the scoring in the first half from the penalty spot, before Luciano Acosta and Alvaro Saborio sealed the deal late in substitute appearances.
With Ben Olsen suspended for the game, assistant Chad Ashton named an unchanged side from the team that lost 1-0 last week against Toronto FC.
Marcelo Sarvas won the penalty that Neagle converted, and Acosta brought the house down with his first MLS goal, sending the fans into a frenzy after chipping home from 20 yards out.
New England had several chances for the opener after a first minute corner for United was for naught. Kelyn Rowe, who nearly scored the winner in the first meeting between the two, had a shot blocked in the box. The ball popped out to Gershon Koffie, but his effort on the half volley bounced wide.
Teal Bunbury then came within the width of the woodwork to put the Revs ahead in the 6th minute. A long free kick was knocked down by Rowe, with Diego Fagundez firing a quick shot that was blocked. That allowed Bunbury to line up his shot from the top of the box, but with Travis Worra beaten, the shot smacked off the bar.
United's first shot didn't come until the 18th minute, but what appeared to be a half chance for Neagle turned out to test Bobby Shuttleworth in goal. After a spell of possession, Sarvas played the ball in towards the top of the box for Neagle. The ball bounced up, and Neagle swiveled, before forcing Shuttleworth into a diving save.
Both teams had chances from set pieces halfway through the first half, but neither side could capitalize. Rowe headed a long free kick into the middle of the box, but a wide open Je-Vaughn Watson screwed his shot wide of the mark. Then Steve Birnbaum won a header on a short corner routine for the Black-and-Red, but no one was able to get a second touch.
Then in the 33rd minute, Sarvas won the penalty for United. Watson, who had slide over from his normal right back position when Chris Tierney went off with an injury in the 29th minute, was adjudged to have clipped Sarvas just inside the box. With Chris Rolfe and Fabian Espindola both missing penalties this year, Neagle stepped up to the spot, and made no mistake, sending Shuttleworth the wrong way.
Rolfe nearly added a second goal in the 41st minute, after Nick DeLeon picked Patrick Nyarko out on the right wing. Nyarko's early ball in found Rolfe in behind the defense, but under pressure, Rolfe sent an one-timer over the goal from 8 yards out.
United then lost Espindola to an injury after a shot attempt from 40 yards out, replaced by Saborio, before Bobby Boswell forced a save with a glancing header in first half stoppage time.
Neither side came out strongly to start the second half, struggling to connect passes in the final third to create scoring opportunities. But Andrew Farrell came up big for the Revs in the 56th minute, as Nyarko and DeLeon combined down the right hand side. Saborio was wide open in the middle of the box, but Farrell was able to cut out Nyarko's cross, which United failed to turn into danger from the corner.
DeLeon then went close from a short corner routine in the 60th minute, bouncing a shot wide after Rolfe fed him the ball outside of the box. Nyarko and Rolfe went back and forth a minute later to spring Nyarko into the box, but the cut back cross was knocked away.
The Revs then decided to test Worra from range with a couple of shots, with Fagundez and then Koffie taking aim in the 63rd and 65th minutes. But Worra was hardly troubled by either, and comfortably made saves to prevent any second opportunities.
Worra was less comfortable in the 80th minute, as he bobbled a ball in front of Fagundez. It came from a nice passing move from the Revs, but an awkwardly played ball out to Watson on the left forced the defender in to a poos cross. But that cross gave Worra some trouble, as the keeper initially seemed to claim it, before bobbling it, and reclaiming before New England could take advantage.
From there, it seemed United were destined for a full three points, but Acosta put his own stamp on the game in the 87th minute to ensure the win. Saborio won a long ball played up to him, and then immediately picked out Acosta on the right, allowing the Argentinian to make a run towards goal. 20 yards out, Acosta then chipped Shuttleworth, with the ball clipping off the bar on its way in.
Saborio then wrapped it all up, under an odd set of circumstances with a goal ion the 89th minute. Rob Vincent, who had entered in the second half, played a ball up towards Saborio. The ball was misplayed by a defender, allowing Saborio to get in around Shuttleworth, and poke home. The assistant referee raised his flag for offside, but after consulting, referee Alan Kelly ruled a goal, completing United's 3-0 win.
United hit the road for their next MLS game, heading to Chicago to play the Fire.