A rampant New England Revolution side scored five for the second week running as they comfortably saw off the Philadelphia Union 5-3 on Saturday.
The Revs goals came from AJ Soares, Diego Fagundez, Lee Nguyen, Chris Tierney and Patrick Mullins, while Vincent Nogueira, Sheanon Williams and Sebastien le Toux netted to give the score-line a respectable look.
Philadelphia’s cause wasn’t helped by an 82nd minute red card for Christian Maidana.
The Union had arrested a nine-game winless run in midweek, and were full of optimism knowing that their only home win so far this season was against Jay Heaps’ side.
New England had never previously won at PPL Park, but came into this clash having thrashed league leaders Seattle Sounders FC last weekend.
An end-to-end start to the game bore greater resemblance to a basketball match than a footballing contest.
Nguyen fired over in the second minute, before Brad Knighton showed handling that any NBA player would be proud of, producing an incredible one-handed save to repel a powerful Andrew Wenger header.
The Revolution then registered the first goal of the game through Soares.
Tierney took an in-swinging free-kick from the right and the 25-year-old defender beat Zac MacMath to the ball to nod in at the near post.
Philadelphia almost made an immediate response though, as Knighton flapped at a high, floated cross but Leo Fernandes couldn’t bring the rebound under control and allowed the goalkeeper to gather.
Neither side seemed interested in slowing the game down as Nguyen’s cross found Teal Bunbury, who directed his header on target but saw a home defender clear off the line.
The former Sporting Kansas City man was then involved in the game’s second goal. He beat an awful Union offside trap to get in behind the defence and lay back for Fagundez. The Uruguayan took the ball in his stride to slot into the far corner for his third goal in two games.
In the 35th minute Nguyen almost added a third for the Revs, taking the ball from Daigo Kobayashi and curling a fine effort towards the top corner, missing by inches.
But within 60 seconds, Philadelphia had pulled one back.
After the visitors failed to effectively clear a long throw, the ball broke to Danny Cruz, who laid the ball off for Nogueira to hammer into the roof of the net from 25 yards.
New England started the second period at a breathtaking pace, seeing Fagundez denied by MacMath before Patrick Mullins just failed to get on the end of Tierney’s glorious shaped pass.
Nguyen made no mistake with his side’s third chance of the half though. He burst beyond the Union defence, cut back and beat the goalkeeper with a strong finish.
Ten minutes later the Revs had a fourth with Tierney again showing his set-piece prowess. The 28-year-old left-back gave MacMath no chance with a magnificent free-kick from the edge of the area.
The hosts looked shaken, and a mistake at the back almost allowed the all-action Nguyen to score again. The United States international pounced on a short back-pass, but was denied by the goalkeeper.
It mattered little though, as Mullins immediately added another.
The rookie played a lovely one-two with Fagundez, before battering the ball past MacMath with his left – his third goal in four matches as a professional.
Despite having the odds very much against them, the Union refused to give up and Knighton had to make a flying save from Ray Gaddis.
The game was becoming stretched and Nguyen was again involved as he played in Bunbury, who forced the home goalkeeper into a low save.
With 15 minutes left, Philadelphia pulled a goal back.
Le Toux’s cross was flicked on and fell perfectly in the box for Williams to lash into the bottom corner.
Thoughts of a fight-back though were tempered by Maidana’s dismissal for a studs-up challenge on Steve Neumann.
New England thought they should have had a penalty for a foul on Bunbury, but then had a spot kick given against them in stoppage time for a seemingly identical challenge on Antoine Hoppenot.
Le Toux rifled straight down the middle from 12 yards, but the referee called time on the match a minute later to deny the Union any chance of improving the result further.
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