The Revolution scored three second half goals and held off a late charge to earn a 5-3 win over Philadelphia Union and their first ever win at PPL Park in seven attempts.
New England scored the first two goals of the first half and the first three goals of the second half with five different players scoring.
The game might have played out differently if not for Revs goalie Brad Knighton, who was starting in place of Bobby Shuttleworth. Shuttleworth didn’t make the trip because of a concussion suffered in training earlier in the week.
Aaron Wheeler sent a enticing service into the area in just the fourth minute and striker Andrew Wenger was able to head the ball onto frame. Knighton dove to his right and extended to keep the ball out and the game scoreless.
AJ Soares opened the scoring with a bit of déjà vu, heading home a Chris Tierney free kick in the 13th minute to make it 1-0. Soares scored in similar fashion in 2011 when the Revs and Union played to a 4-4 draw.
The Revs doubled their lead just 13 minutes later. Lee Nguyen played a pass onto Teal Bunbury, who made a run inside the corner of the area. Bunbury held the ball at his feet before splitting two defenders with a pass to an oncoming Diego Fagundez. Fagundez stepped over the ball before taking a step back and firing a low shot past Union goalie Zac MacMath into the corner for a 2-0 lead in the 26th minute.
It seemed the Revs second goal woke Philadelphia up and the Union’s midfield and offense upped their pressure. A long throw from Sheanon Williams was headed away by Bunbury, but only as far as the top of the area. Danny Cruz took a simple touch, laying it off to his right before Vincent Nogueira rocketed a one-timer from distance that beat Revs goal Brad Knighton.
The Union continued their pressure until the halftime whistle but the break came at the right time for New England. After the break, the Revs came back out firing. Less than four minutes in, New England had three solid chances. First, Daigo Kobayashi played a perfectly weighted through ball to Fagundez, who fired a low shot but MacMath was able to dive and get a mitt on it to knock it away.
Kobayashi was the architect once again, this time just a minute later. He fed fellow midfielder Lee Nguyen into the area. Nguyen, on the corner of the six-yard box, calmly used a nifty cut with his left foot to get the ball back on his right foot, took a touch towards the middle of the pitch and then fired home a near post shot to make it 3-1.
New England added onto their lead just minutes later after Bunbury was taken down at the top of the area. With Kobayashi, Nguyen and Tierney all standing over the free kick, Nguyen ran over the ball first before Tierney blasted a left-footed shot past the wall and into the far corner for a 4-1 lead in the 57th minute.
The Revs sealed the deal 10 minutes later on a sequence between two of New England’s brightest young stars and one of their savvy veterans. Andy Dorman dispossessed Amobi Okugo and was able to dish to an unmarked Mullins before being taken down. As the ref allowed play to continue, Mullins used the outside of his left foot to pass to Fagundez. Fagundez charged right at the Union defense and then used a creative back heel to pass to Mullins – who made an overlapping run – and the rookie fired a left-footed shot past MacMath for his third goal in as many games.
Knighton came up huge once again for the Revs, this time in the 70th minute. Raymon Gaddis took possession of the ball outside the top of the area and fired a rocket to the far post upper 90. But instead of a fantastic goal, Knighton stretched out and punched away the shot with his outstretched arm.
But six minutes later, the Union were able to break through. Sebastian LeToux served a ball from near the sidelines that was head flicked on by Austin Berry. Williams’ run split two defenders and calmly placed it past Knighton.
Nogueira was sent off in the 82nd minute after going in studs up on a tackle on rookie Steve Neumann and Philly was forced to play the remainder of the game with 10 men. Nguyen picked up a yellow card in the 88th minute for a slide tackle from behind.
The Union tacked on the final goal of the game in the first minute of stoppage time. After a sequence up the middle, Antoine Hoppenot was taken in the area down on a late tackle from Andrew Farrell and Philly was awarded a penalty kick. Le Toux buried the opportunity up high as Knighton dove low to the right.
New England extenders their win streak to four games and are 5-0-1 in the last six games and stand at 6-3-2 overall. The Revolution will be back in action on May 24th when they host DC United at Gillette Stadium.