Chris Pontius scored the winner nine minutes from time to extend United's unbeaten run to four.FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- D.C. United etched out an away win over Eastern Conference rivals the New England Revolution 2-1.
Second half substitute Chris Pontius proved to be the difference, as he scored the winner on a curling ball inside the Revolution box in the 82nd minute.
United had not won in New England's Gillette Stadium since 2007.
“I don't know when was the last time we won here. It has been a tough place to come,” D.C. coach Ben Olsen said.
New England scored first first courtesy of a strike from forward Jose Moreno in the sixth minute. United quickly struck back in the 19th minute on a goal from forward Maicon Santos.
D.C. spread the ball out wide by using midfielders Danny Cruz and Nick DeLeon to its advantage. Both players cleared the congestion out of the middle of the field, which created space in front of the Revolution box throughout the game.
“I think they increased the field size today which I think helped us out a little bit. I didn't think it was a great day for either team, but the turf always makes it difficult,” Olsen said. “For us to come back from an early goal on their part was a credit to our guys.”
Despite the sloppy play from both teams, Olsen was impressed with the fight his team showed after conceding early.
“They hung in there and found a way to win. That is what we are looking for,” he said. “Last year we would probably find a way to lose that game. I am seeing some signs of this team figuring out ways to be winners.”
Olsen found he had a difficult decision to make on the starting roster ahead of the match with Pontius continuing his return from injury.
“He certainly made my life more difficult and that’s what I am asking him to do,” Olsen said.
Pontius has found his new position off the bench difficult to swallow, but realizes his match fitness needs to improve.
“It's been tough for me coming off the bench. Ideally I want to start. I think every player wants to start every game, but you got to realize sometimes where you are with your body,” Pontius said. “I'm still finding my touch and getting fitness. Being a sub has forced me to work harder to get back into it."
D.C. United was without the services of midfielder Marcelo Saragosa, as his father passed away two days ago. The team dedicated its performance to the Brazilian.
“It's been an emotional two days. I think the guys have rallied behind that and wanted to get Marcelo a win,” Olsen said. “All of our thoughts right now are with Marcelo and his family. He came back and his father was doing better and then took a turn for the worst.”
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