FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- It might not have been another barn burner, but the New England Revolution dug deep and found a way to secure a 2-1 win against D.C. United at Gillette Stadium on Saturday.
Patrick Mullins secured his fourth goal in as many games when he struck in the 55th minute to give the Revolution a 1-0 lead, before D.C.'s Fabian Espindola equalized in the 73rd minute. But Diego Fagundez had the last word when he scored his fourth goal of the season in the 77th minute.
Eddie Johnson was issued a straight red card in the 82nd minute to leave D.C. short-handed for the closing minutes.
The win keeps the Revolution atop the conference and extends their unbeaten run to seven straight (6-0-1). Meanwhile, D.C. saw its own undefeated streak end at three (2-0-1).
What it means: It wasn't another five-goal bonanza for the Revolution offense, but given the way their defense played, it didn't need to be. Jose Goncalves returned to the lineup, and his presence certainly strengthened an already stout back line. While the defense led the way in the first half, the Revolution offense came alive in the second half when Mullins found the back of the net in the 55th minute. Though Espindola, a longtime Revolution tormentor, leveled it less than 20 minutes later, Fagundez scored in the 77th minute to send the Revolution on their way to a gritty, hard-fought win.
Stat of the match: Espindola's 73rd-minute goal was the first conceded by the Revolution at home this season, a run that lasted 433 minutes.
Goncalves returns: After missing the past five games, 2013 MLS Defender of the Year Jose Goncalves made his way back to the field on Saturday. Goncalves suffered a quad injury in the first half of the Revolution's April 12 match versus the Dynamo. With Goncalves back at his spot at center back, Andrew Farrell started at right back, and Darrius Barnes was pushed to the bench.
Revs honor former teammate Simms: Prior to the game, the Revolution paid tribute to former defensive midfielder Clyde Simms, who was forced to retire during the winter due to his ongoing battle with kidney disease. Simms was initially diagnosed while in high school and kept his condition private during his nine-year MLS career. In March, he revealed that he will need a kidney transplant. The Revolution designated Saturday's game as Kidney Disease Awareness night in an effort to spread the word about the disease.
Back on the road: The Revolution head to Stade Saputo next Saturday for their first match of the season against the Montreal Impact. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. ET. Last year, the two sides split the season series (1-1-0).