NEW YORK—The New England Revolution snapped a two-game losing streak and booked a berth in the Audi 2015 MLS Cup Playoffs with a 3-1 victory over New York City FC in front of 34,150 at Yankee Stadium on #DecisionDay.
Lee Nguyen, Charlie Davies and Kelyn Rowe scored for the Revs, who finished fifth in the Eastern Conference and will head to D.C. for a Knockout Round matchup against the United on Wednesday (Time TBD). NYCFC, which received a David Villa penalty kick goal in the first minute of second-half stoppage time, closed out its inaugural season with three consecutive losses, dropping the team to 10-17-7.
The Revs (14-12-8) raced in front in the second minute on Nguyen’s seventh goal of the season. The midfielder started the sequence by playing Davies into the box. The forward shielded off Shay Facey before playing back to Nguyen, who cut inside of Jason Hernandez and beat Josh Saunders inside the far post from the edge of the six-yard box.
Against the run of play, New England made it 2-0 in the 38th minute, when Davies shook off a mistimed challenge by Hernandez and put a shot in off the far post for his 10th goal of the season. It marked his return to double digits in MLS, after scoring 11 for D.C. United in 2011.
Before conceding a second goal, NYCFC looked more likely to equalize. In the 10th minute, Villa set up Tommy McNamara with a nifty backheel, but the second-year midfielder rolled his shot wide of the far post.
In the 32nd, an unmarked Chris Wingert latched onto an RJ Allen cross, putting a downward header over the bar from point-blank range.
Five minutes later, Allen again connected with Wingert, who put a diving header on frame, but New England goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth made the save.
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Late in the first half, two of NYCFC’s Designated Players nearly pulled their club a goal back.
In the 41st minute, Frank Lampard rattled the crossbar from 20 yards out and four minutes later Andrea Pirlo nearly snuck a 29-yard free kick inside the near post, but Shuttleworth dived to his left to parry it away.
New England made it 3-0 in the 55th minute as Kelyn Rowe lost McNamara on a near-post run, latched onto Chris Tierney’s corner and headed it inside the far post.
Moments after coming on for Andrew Jacobson, Patrick Mullins nearly scored for NYCFC, but Shuttleworth corralled after initially bobbling his attempt from the top of the 18-yard box in the 76th minute.
In the 89th minute, Pirlo set up for a free kick from 27 yards out, but put it just over the crossbar.
The home fans finally had something to cheer about in the first minute of second-half stoppage time when Villa converted a penalty kick – his 18th goal of the season, putting his attempt low and to the left of Shuttleworth after Daigo Kobayashi was called for a hand ball in the box.