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Benteke has hat trick as DC United tops Revolution in opener

Christian Benteke New England Revolution Christian Benteke - Getty Images

WASHINGTON (AP) — Christian Benteke kicked off the season with a hat trick and D.C. United cruised to a 3-1 victory over the New England Revolution on Saturday night, making Troy Lesesne a winner in his debut as manager.

Benteke picked up his first goal on a header in the 34th minute after New England's Giacomo Vrioni was sent off for a red card in the 25th, forcing the Revolution to play a man down from there.

Carles Gil netted the equalizer for the Revolution in 67th minute, but Benteke answered five minutes later and DC United regained the lead.

Benteke, who had 14 goals in 31 starts last year in his first full season, netted his third goal in the third minute of stoppage time.

Alex Bono finished with four saves for D.C. United. Henrich Ravas saved two shots for New England in his MLS debut.

The Revs failed to deliver a victory in the debut of manager Caleb Porter, who won the MLS Cup in 2015 with the Portland Timbers and 2020 with the Columbus Crew.

DC United snapped up Lesesne — to replace Wayne Rooney — after Lesesne and the New York Red Bulls parted ways last season.

Homegrown talent 18-year-old Esmir Bajraktarevic, who hails from Wisconsin, got the start in his debut with the Revs. Bajraktarevic replaced Dylan Borrero in the starting lineup. Borrero is still recovering from a torn ACL, suffered last season.

Fullback Aaron Herrera, winger Jared Stroud and defender Matti Peltola all started in their debuts with United.

DC United travels to play the Portland Timbers on March 2. New England will host Toronto FC in its home opener on March 3.


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