Tajon Buchanan broke the Colorado Rapids' considerable defensive dam with a second-half goal, giving the New England Revolution a 1-0 win – and the MLS record for single-season points – at Gillette Stadium on Wednesday night.
HIGHLIGHTS: New England Revolution vs. Colorado Rapids | October 27, 2021
The Supporters' Shield winners surpassed LAFC's previous 72-point threshold from the 2019 season in their penultimate match. The Revs are at 73 points with the victory and can reach 76 with a Decision Day home game when hosting Inter Miami CF on Nov. 7.
The win also further established Bruce Arena's place in MLS history, moving him into a tie for most wins by a head coach (240) with the late, great Sigi Schmid.
And with results later Wednesday evening (despite the loss), Colorado secured a top-four spot in the Western Conference portion of the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs, as they currently sit third in the table.
The first half didn't produce any goals, though the Revs brought a first-choice attack of Buchanan, Gustavo Bou and Adam Buksa to the fight, and they all made entreaties on goal throughout the opening 45 that the Rapids defense did well to thwart.
It looked like the visitors might get the first goal via a 34th-minute attempt, with Cole Bassett forcing Matt Turner into a diving save. That led to a sequence toward the end of the first half in which the hosts awoke, with Carles Gil setting up three solid attempts in the last five minutes of first-half regulation, including a 40th-minute Bou attempt that went side netting on the wrong side of the post, showing promise. But the teams went to the locker room deadlocked.
The second half continued much in the same vein, with both teams threatening but neither able to convert. Buchanan had several attempts, including a 71st-minute one that had Revs fans looking for a penalty shout, as well as one a minute later from Buksa in a flurry that earned Gil a share of the MLS record for chances created in a season. With Buchanan's 74th-minute goal slicing past Colorado goalkeeper William Yarbrough, Gil broke the record for chances created in a season, despite missing a month to injury and with Buksa getting credit for the assist.
The Rapids had their own chances to get on the board, but couldn't get good shots off on the man-advantages they orchestrated on counter-attacks, including a Jonathan Lewis look in the 63rd minute that ended in a deft Henry Kessler defensive play and an 84th-minute Lewis break that gave the visitors their own occasion to look for the ref to point to the spot. Michael Barrios also came on to trouble the Revs' backline, but Matt Turner locked down his fifth clean sheet of the year during a particularly historic win.
- 74' – NE – Tajon Buchanan | WATCH
- THE BIG PICTURE: With this win – their 18th one-goal win of the 2021 season – the Revs wrote themselves into the history books, and looked formidable doing it against one of the best teams the Western Conference can throw against New England in a possible MLS Cup preview. While the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs can be a wild and foreboding scene, the Revs showed they can win a grind-it-out match against solid competition where a single goal allows a team to move forward.
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: That single goal was a long-time coming, with the Revs exerting considerable offensive pressure before Buchanan – who will be missed when he takes the next step in his developmental journey at Club Brugge next year – broke through.
GOAL: Tajon Buchanan, New England Revolution - 74th minute
- MAN OF THE MATCH: Carles Gil, as the probable MLS Landon Donovan MVP, navigated a stuck-in Rapids defense to create multiple chances, as has been his way throughout the season.
- NE: Sunday, Nov. 7 vs. Inter Miami CF | 3:30 pm ET (MLS LIVE on ESPN+)
- COL: Sunday, Oct. 31 at Houston Dynamo FC | 3 pm ET (MLS LIVE on ESPN+)