Recap: Chicago Fire FC 2, New England Revolution 3 | MLSSoccer.com
The New England Revolution became the first team to qualify for the Audi 2021 MLS Cup Playoffs courtesy of a 90th-minute winner from MVP candidate Carles Gil that gave them a 3-2 victory over Chicago Fire FC at Soldier Field Wednesday evening.
Goals from Henry Kessler, Teal Bunbury and Gil helped the Revs hold off a second-half comeback from the Fire and gain all three points on the road.
Bruce Arena was able to rest nine regular starters going into the evening with the Revolution having a 15-point lead in the Eastern Conference over second-place Nashville SC and an 10-point advantage in the race for the MLS Supporter's Shield over Western Conference leaders Sporting Kansas City going into the night. The Revs have now gone four matches unbeaten and have only lost once in their past 14 contests.
Gil's MVP-Caliber season continued with a brilliant cameo off the bench, inspiring the Revs in the second half. The Spaniard scored his third goal of the season but has tallied an astounding 16 assists in the process. His late solo-effort broke the hearts of the Fire faithful, who looked to be getting their first points in five matches until he punched the dagger through into the back of the net.
Kessler opened the scoring for New England 11 minutes in, scoring from close-distance after the Fire failed to the clear the ball following a Revs corner.
The two sides then swapped goals, with Bunbury scoring the Revs' second goal in the 61st minute after Gustavo Bou assisted with his head. Not 60 seconds later, though, the Fire equalized. Chinoso Offor held the ball up in the Revs area and saw a run being made at the top of the box by Gaston Gimenez, who received the ball and finished it with his first touch into the bottom left corner of the net.
But despite a valiant second-half effort from the home side, a moment of brilliance from one of the league's best proved to be the difference.