The New England Revolution got a timely second-half goal from Teal Bunbury, and got an additional insurance goal from Gustavo Bou, propelling them to a 2-0 win over New York City FC at Gillette Stadium on Saturday afternoon. The victory allowed the Revs to secure their spot in the 2019 Audi MLS Cup playoffs.
It was a hard-fought, fairly even, and ultimately scoreless first half as both teams found their changes. NYCFC found its best opportunities early through Alexandru Mitrita, while the Revs had some promising chances through Bunbury and Cristian Penilla go wanting.
NYCFC came even closer in the 62nd minute, after Mitrita won a free kick on a Brandon Bye yellow card foul. Mitrita tried to bend in what was effectively a short corner kick; Matt Turner had to go airborne and reach back to fist away the goal-bound shot.
Less than four minutes later, the Revs broke the deadlock, with Penilla working the ball into the NYCFC box, then laying a pass in Bunbury's path. Bunbury was able to chip it over Sean Johnson for the finish. Then, in the 71st minute, Carles Gil nearly connected with Wilfried Zahibo on a free kick to double the lead.
After more heroic goal keeping from Turner, Bou sealed with the win with a late, audacious chip from beyond the 18.
- THE BIG PICTURE: The Revs remarkably improved to eight wins, eight draws, and two losses in the Bruce Arena era. There were times this season where they looked like they might end up the 8th or 9th seed in the East, but they had the tenacity to gut out enough results to make it here. They now look like they'll at the very least be a tough out. NYCFC left the match rooting for Columbus; a Crew SC result over the Union would be enough for the Cityzens to back-door into the #1 seed.
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: The Bunbury goal was the ultimately decisive moment, as NYCFC couldn't find their way onto the scoresheet, but the Bou goal was a beautiful moment from a player who had been relatively quiet for most of the match.
- MAN OF THE MATCH: Though Penilla and Turner made excellent contributions throughout the match, it was Bunbury's cool finish that delivered the playoff-clinching win.