The New England Revolution became the first team to qualify for the Audi 2021 MLS Cup Playoffs courtesy of a 91st-minute winner from MVP candidate Carles Gil that gave them a 3-2 victory over Chicago Fire FC at Soldier Field Wednesday evening.

Goals from Henry Kessler, Teal Bunbury and Gil helped the Revs hold off a second-half comeback from the Fire and gain all three points on the road.

Bruce Arena rested nine regular starters with the Revolution holding a 15-point Eastern Conference lead over second-place Nashville SC and a 13-point advantage in the Supporters' Shield race over Western Conference leaders Sporting Kansas City after the dramatic finish. The Revs have now gone four matches unbeaten and have only lost once in their past 14 contests.

Gil's MVP-caliber season continued with a brilliant cameo off the bench, inspiring the Revs in the second half. The Spaniard scored his third goal of the season but has tallied an astounding 16 assists thus far as well. His late solo effort broke the hearts of the Fire faithful, who looked to be getting their first points in four matches until he punched the dagger with a right-footed, roofed shot past Gabriel Slonina.

Kessler opened the scoring for New England 11 minutes in, volleying home from close-distance after the Fire failed to clear a free kick. Before halftime, Carlos Teran equalized to give Chicago a spark.

The two sides then swapped goals, with Bunbury netting the Revs' second in the 61st minute after Gustavo Bou assisted with some route-one play that involved goalkeeper Matt Turner. Not 60 seconds later, though, the Fire equalized. Chinoso Offor held the ball up in the box and saw Gaston Gimenez, who finished with his first touch into the bottom left corner.

Despite a valiant second-half effort from the hosts, and some Turner heroics, a moment of brilliance from one of MLS' best players was the difference.

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Goals

  • 11' - NE - Henry Kessler | WATCH
  • 40' - CHI - Carlos Teran | WATCH
  • 62' - NE - Teal Bunbury | WATCH
  • 63' - CHI - Gaston Gimenez | WATCH
  • 90'+1' - NE - Carles Gil | WATCH

Three Things

  • THE BIG PICTURE: The Revs are closing in on the Supporters' Shield and remain on course to better LAFC's 2019 squad for the most single-season points in MLS history. For the Fire, it’s a heartbreaking ending to one of their best performances of the season and keeps a playoff spot looking a long way away.
  • MOMENT OF THE MATCH: Carles Gil’s 91st-minute winner. The Spaniard’s strike gave the Revs all three points on the road and clinched an Audi 2021 MLS Cup Playoffs berth.
  • MAN OF THE MATCH: Who else but Carles Gil? The 2021 MVP candidate was brilliant, lighting up the attacking third for the Revs after coming on at the halftime break and scoring the eventual game-winner.

Up Next

  • CHI: Sunday, September 26 vs. Nashville SC | 1 pm ET (MLS LIVE on ESPN+)
  • NE: Saturday, September 25 vs. Orlando City SC | 7 pm ET (MLS LIVE on ESPN+)

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