With the Houston Dynamo’s 2-1 victory over D.C. united earlier in the afternoon the New England Revolution kicked off against the Columbus Crew knowing exactly what they needed to do in order to make the 2013 MLS playoffs- win.
They did just that.
In the 28th minute a beautiful give and go in the Columbus box between Juan Agudelo and Lee Nguyen resulted in Agudelo slotting home what would turn out to be the match winner.
The second half was a contentious one with play becoming increasingly physical as the Revolution tried to hold on to their lead and the Crew tried to salvage a few more points in what has been a disappointing season. Unfortunately, during the second half this turned into another match plagued by terrible refereeing. Hilario Grejeda lost control of the match, allowing players to take liberties with each other and resulting in more than one injury. Eventually he was forced to make a call- a straight red- when Columbus’ Dominic Oduro swept the legs of Revolution midfielder Kelyn Rowe after he had played the ball upfield. Not wanting to miss one more chance to put his imprint on the match, Grejeda topped off his performance by calling for 8 minutes of stoppage time- at least twice what was warranted by events on the field during the second half.
The Revolution, however, weathered this storm- thanks in large part to some stellar goalkeeping from the apparently ageless Matt Reis- and advanced to the playoffs for the first time since the 2009 season.
The outcome of the Chicago – New York match (just starting the second half as I type) will determine where the Revolution finish in the table and, therefore, how they are seeded in the playoffs, but whether they finish 3rd or 4th doesn’t really matter. After two 9th place finishes in a row, just making the post-season is an accomplishment.
Well done, all, anything can happen now!