The New England Revolution entered Tuesday’s match against the Philadelphia Union as the clear underdog against the 2020 Supporters’ Shield winners. Before the match, the Revolution had gone winless against the Union in five tries. Their most recent meeting went differently as the Revs secured a 2-0 win.
Bruce Arena made one change to the Revolution’s starting XI as Scott Caldwell came on in place of Tommy McNamara. Arena stuck with the 4-2-3-1 formation that brought the team success during the play-in round against Montreal.
The Revs came close to scoring in the 13th minute, but the ball was deflected out of bounds.
Polish DP Adam Buksa gave the Revolution a 1-0 lead in the 26th minute after bulldozing Philadelphia’s defense to head home Carles Gil’s free kick. The header beat the reigning goalkeeper of the year and settled into the back of the net!
BIG MAN IN THE BIG MOMENT! pic.twitter.com/qgLmbVTboD— X-New England Revolution (@NERevolution) November 25, 2020
Tajon Buchanan would add a second just three minutes later. After receiving Gil’s through ball in the box, Buchanan was able to flex his footwork against Kai Wagner and booted the ball past Andre Blake to double the Revs’ lead!
Right back? Attacker? Who cares, we're up 2-0! pic.twitter.com/0w5xXh94Os— X-New England Revolution (@NERevolution) November 25, 2020
In a rather shocking move, Jim Curtin executed a double substitution in the 62nd minute, which saw Corey Burke and Jack Elliot replace Sergio Santos and Brendan Aaronson. Throughout the 2020 season, Aaronson had been a crucial aspect of Philly’s offense as he totaled four goals and a team-leading seven assists.
The Revolution’s first substitution would come in the 66th minute as Kelyn Rowe came on for Teal Bunbury.
Wagner received the game’s first booking in the 71st minute after tripping up Gil as he advanced the ball downfield.
Philly’s next substitution came in the 76th minute as Anthony Fontana would replace Raymon Gaddis. Gustavo Bou’s night came to an end in the 78th minute as Tommy McNamara came on and replaced him.
Matt Polster was booked with a yellow card in the 88th minute after upending Ilsinho.
The Revs remaining DP’s, Buksa and Gil, were replaced by Justin Rennicks and Michael Mancienne in the 89th minute.
Although the final whistle sounded, the action on the field continued as Buchanan and Wagner exchanged words that would conclude with both benches coming on to the field looking to prevent a brawl from ensuing.
When asked about tonight’s win, Bruce Arena was quick to praise the team while also keeping their eyes focused on Sunday’s match against Orlando.
“Obviously, a very good performance against a team that had a great regular season.” Arena said. “Undefeated here in their home stadium, so it’s a tremendous win and now we got to somehow recover and get our team ready to play Sunday.”
Buchanan was ecstatic after scoring the second goal, saying, “Emotions were high. Very happy. It was a big goal in a game. I’m happy I was just able to help on the offensive side and defensively also today and I’m happy we came out with the win.”.
Regarding that phenomenal backflip after the goal, Buchanan said, “I always had that. I did a backflip back in college when I scored a goal. Ever since I was a kid I’ve been able to do that and I just felt that if I scored a playoff goal it was time to pull it out.”
The Revolution return to action on Sunday at 3 PM as they travel down to Exploria Stadium to take Orlando.
Semi-finalists ☑️#NERevs | #MLSCupPlayoffs pic.twitter.com/hNjcgmUxDW— X-New England Revolution (@NERevolution) November 25, 2020
Remember to check back after Sunday’s match for a post-game recap!