New England Revolution scored two goals in four first-half minutes to knock off Philadelphia Union and 2-0 at Subaru Park Tuesday evening in Audi MLS Cup playoff action.
Philly started off on the front foot and the midfield connected in the New England box to create the first chance of the match. Aaronson’s change of speed bought half a second near the endline and the homegrown picked out Jamiro Monteiro for a clean look at goal but the shot sailed high over the bar.
The Union Designated Player looked to make amends in the seventh minute when he skipped into traffic, beating two men before a third knocked the ball free. Jose Martinez stepped forward and slammed a long shot that trickled wide of Matt Turner’s goal.
The Revs first real chance came after a slight mix-up in back led to a squibber across Andre Blake’s goal. Spin took the ball wide of the net before Kai Wagner tracked it down.
A rough edge came into the match moments later when Martinez stooped to clear the ball and caught a foot to the face from Adam Buksa. The Venezuelan, predictably, was not slowed by the contact.
Gustavo Bou, the hero of New England’s play-in round win, came to life in the 20th minute. A cutback ball to the top of the box found Bou alone but Philly’s energy to close him down led to a swiveling shot wide of frame.
Buksa did not miss in the 26th, though. After a giveaway, Kai Wagner committed a foul outside of the box to the right. Carles Gil’s strong delivery found Buksa’s head for a finish that left Blake stranded.
Four minutes later, the Revs had a second.
Off a throw-in, New England moved left to right in a hurry and Buchanon bundled past Wagner to get a free look on goal at the edge of the six yard box, smacking a hard, low shot past Blake.
Monteiro moved toward the center to get on the ball more often but struggled to create clear chances. Martinez, Przybylko, Buksa, and Matt Polster got increasingly chippy as the half wore on and neither side could break through midfield.
In the 43rd minute, Jakob Glesnes made a lung-busting run and sliding tackle to release Bedoya up the right. The resulting cross led to a corner that put New England under renewed pressure as the half drew to a close.
Jim Curtin had firepower on the bench in Ilsinho and Anthony Fontana and he turned to the Brazilian out of the gate, with Martinez making way.
Ilsinho was involved early, jinking past two men on the right as he looked to tuck the ball behind the back line.
In the 52nd minute, Gil attempted an ambitious lob from outside the bix but Blake had it covered and it rebounded off the bar.
Curtin continued to be fearless with his attacking moves and sent on Cory Burke and Jack Elliott as the Union pushed more men forward. Ilsinho’s work up the right earned a free kick that Monteiro curled onto Przybylko’s head but the big striker nodded it straight at Turner.
Anthony Fontana replaced Ray Gaddis as the pressure continued to pour on, though without the final product Philly needed. Ilsinho was the main attacking threat but New England was determined to slide multiple defenders around him at the edge of the box.
Try as they might, the Union could not find the chances needed to even the scoreline. The best season in team history ended with a gutsy but goalless performance in front of fans that pushed the players on until the final whistle.