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Revolution beat Philly 2-1 in season finale, finish in fifth

FOXBORO – The New England Revolution won their Decision Day contest but failed to advance beyond fifth place in the MLS Eastern Conference.

Striker Gustavo Bou scored twice in the first half and the Revolution held on to beat the Philadelphia Union 2-1 before 41,355 hardy fans on a rainy Saturday night at Gillette Stadium. The Revolution improved to 15-9-10 and 12-1-4 at home.

The Revolution needed several factors to fall into place in order to move up in the standings and secure home field in Round One of the Audi MLS Cup playoffs. The Revolution needed to beat the Union by three goals or for CF Montreal to upset the Columbus Crew, neither of which materialized.

The Crew beat Montreal and moved into third place while Philly dropped to fourth. The final playoff pairings, times and locations will be announced on Sunday but Revolution will open the playoffs in Philadelphia.

“In terms of momentum, I think wins kind of gloss over things that maybe could be better,” said interim head coach Clint Peay, who picked up his second win. “The feeling is good and this is playoff time and you want to do it any way you can. We dug deep and fought to the end.”

Peay made several changes to the Starting XI that were beat 3-2 at Nashville on Oct. 14. Center back Henry Kessler, who had just returned from a hamstring injury, was replaced by Andrew Farrell. Ryan Spaulding was added to the back line and two-way player Tommy McNamara was affixed to the midfield.

Because the Revolution needed to win by three goals to influence the first tiebreaker (goal differential) with the Union, Peay employed a 4-3-3 formation with Bou at striker and Carles Gil and Tomas Chancalay on the attacking wings. Keeper Jacob Jackson made his second career start.

Philly went up 1-0 in the 15th minute when Jackson was caught out of position trying to get ahead of a play in transition. Dave Romney tried to clear the ball with a header just Jackson collided with Union midfielder Daniel Gazdag and striker Julian Carranza in the box. Carranza was lying sideways when he kicked the ball inside the far post for his 14th of the season.

“It was a difficult moment and a lack of communication between him and Dave Romney,” said Peay. “For a young guy it could have gone bad and he responded and I thought he showed really good poise and maturity.”.

The Revolution tied the game 1-1 after Union defender Damien Lowe was called for a hand ball in the penalty area and picked up a yellow card in the process. Bou was awarded the penalty kick and he beat keeper Andre Blake to the near post in the 25th minute for his sixth of the season and first since July 15.

“I think it was his decision to step up and put it on his shoulders and decide that he should take it,” said Peay.

Bou notched a brace and put the Revolution up 2-1 in on a brilliant collaboration with Noel Buck and Gil in the 42nd minute. Buck launched a clear across midfield to Gil, who relayed it to Bou who got behind Lowe. Bou fired a hard shot that knocked Blake backwards and found its way to the back of the net.

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