It was tough sledding for both teams early on as players visibly struggled to control the ball and find their footing on the snow-covered pitch. But the elements favored the home side far more than their Mexican counterparts, as former LA Galaxy midfielder Sebastian Lletget put the Revolution on the board in the 19th minute off a feed from reigning Landon Donovan MLS MVP winner Carles Gil.
New England continued to apply pressure throughout the match as Bruce Arena, MLS's all-time winningest coach, stressed the importance of putting teams away in elimination competitions when you have the chance. After a phenomenal point-blank save from Earl Edwards Jr. in front of goal, the Revs quickly countered upfield and found a second after a beautiful chip from Gil put Adam Buska in on goal, who collected his rebound after having his initial shot saved.
Buska then put the icing on the cake with a stoppage-time finish to cap off an impressive result by the home side in Leg 1.
- THE BIG PICTURE: While Bruce Arena and his men would have wanted to tack on a few more goals, outshooting Pumas 18-8, they'll be pleased heading into Leg 2 on March 16 at Estadio Olímpico Universitario in México City with a 3-0 aggregate lead and avoiding giving up a crucial away goal. The series winner will battle CF Montréal or Liga MX's Cruz Azul in the semifinal stage.
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: New England took an early lead on an impressive team goal that started with a run down the left flank from DeJuan Jones, ending with a composed finish in the box from Sebastian Lletget.
- MAN OF THE MATCH: Carles Gil was a maestro in the midfield, earning two assists and leading his team to a victory.
- NE: Saturday, March 12 vs. Real Salt Lake | 7:30 pm ET (MLS LIVE on ESPN+ in US, DAZN in Canada)
- UNAM: Saturday, March 12 at Cruz Azul | 8 pm ET | Liga MX