The New England Revolution were unconvincing in the opening minutes of their match against D.C. United, but Dimitry Imbongo and Saer Sene came alive in the second half, bearing responsibility for both goals that would provide the Revolution with a 2-1 victory.
For the majority of the first half, the Revolution’s back line was carelessly marking men and moving the ball forward. Revolution center back Stephen McCarthy forced a lob pass in the 10th minute that ultimately gave D.C. United a one-goal advantage.
It was clear that McCarthy made a mistake by playing the ball deep here; if he intended to clear it out of the Revs’ zone, then he should have hit the ball farther down the pitch. If he was trying to angle his pass to teammate at midfield, then he should have decided to work the ball up the field slowly, sending short, efficient ground passes to his fellow wingbacks and midfielders.
After this turnover, McCarthy gave Luis Silva too much space outside of the Revs’ box, allowing the former Toronto FC man to blast United’s lone goal past Bobby Shuttleworth. About a minute later, Revs’ rookie defender Andrew Farrell floundered on a United corner kick as his inadequate outside positioning on Daniel Woodward nearly resulted in another goal for United. The Revolution back line looked terrible.
As first half came to a close, however, the Revs’ attack began to intensify with Imbongo and Sene spearheading multiple scoring opportunities for New England. In the 20th minute, Sene took a beautiful touch that saw him past James Riley inside of United’s penalty box, but he couldn’t finish his shot over a diving Joe Willis.
Imbongo came to the viewers’ attention 15 minutes later when he muscled his way to the United endline before whipping in a fantastic low cross to Keyln Rowe. However, Willis stuffed Rowe’s redirection to keep his team ahead by a goal.
Those two chances, though, were just the beginning for Imbongo and Sene.
Imbongo banged home the Revs’ first goal after halftime and was also instrumental in setting up his squad’s second goal. Sene’s nifty touches were huge throughout the game, but one particular juke provided the winger with a excellent top-corner strike that ricocheted off of the post for Diego Fagundez to finish.
Imbongo’s smart ball movement set up Sene on the edge of the penalty box and after Fagundez’s goal, it seemed that the pair of Frenchmen had single-handedly spurred the Revolution’s comeback. These two forwards showed the MLS that the Revolution don’t need Juan Agudelo to posses a formidable offensive attack.
It should be exciting to see if Imbongo and Sene can repeat their performance against Toronto FC next Sunday.