Philadelphia Union 0, New England Revolution 1 | MLS Match Recap
CHESTER, Pa. – The Philadelphia Union will continue to have nightmares about Diego Fagundez.
In a game rife with playoff implications, the New England Revolution (10-9-7, 37pts) rode a second-half Fagundez goal to earn a 1-0 road win over the Union on Saturday night at PPL Park, remaining unbeaten in their last five while comfortably staying above the red line in the Eastern Conference.
The Union (7-14-6, 27pts), meanwhile, saw their modest three-game unbeaten streak come to an end while missing a big opportunity to gain ground on one of the teams they’re chasing in the East and complicating their postseason hopes.
After a scoreless first half, Fagundez got the Revs on the board in the 51st minute after a quick Chris Tierney throw-in and a Charlie Davies flick sprung him free. With Philly defender Richie Marquez failing to close him down, Fagundez then took a few dribbles toward the middle of the field before unleashing a low-driven shot into the corner of the net.
With the tally, the 20-year-old Fagundez became the youngest player in MLS history to score 25 goals. Four of those – as well as four assists – have come in his nine career games against the Union.
Despite bringing some good firepower off the bench with Eric Ayuk, Fernando Aristeguieta and Andrew Wenger (who was returning to the field after missing five weeks with a concussion), the Union didn’t generate much offense as they pressed for the equalizer. Aristeguieta had a couple of last-ditch chances in stoppage time but didn’t put either on frame.
The Union’s rough night was capped when top playmaker Cristian Maidana was sent off with a straight red card moments before the final whistle.
Both teams had close-range chances within the first 10 minutes with Fagundez launching one high and Philly’s Tranquillo Barnetta hitting one just wide.
Barnetta continued to spur Philly’s offense as New England goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth saved a tough-angle shot from the Union's Designated Player in the 22nd minute, before smothering an attempt from C.J. Sapong after Barnetta chased down his own rebound and looped it into the box.
Shuttleworth also made a big 38th-minute save on Sebastien Le Toux, who was sprung free on a Barnetta feed, and did well to handle a tricky Barnetta free kick two minutes later.
Blake was also solid in the first half, stopping a couple of shots and coming off his line to dive on a dangerous Nguyen pass to Davies in the 30th minute.
The Revs have now beaten the Union at PPL Park twice this season, with Fagundez setting up the game-winning goal in New England’s 2-1 win back in April to account for two of the Revs’ three road wins this season.
The Union return to action with a road game at San Jose next Saturday (10:30 pm ET, MLS LIVE), while the Revs come home to face Orlando City SC (7:30 pm ET, MLS LIVE).