Gustavo Bou curled an 85th-minute shot into the goal on Saturday, giving the New England Revolution a 2-1 win over Atlanta United in Foxborough, Mass. The loss ended Atlanta's playoff chances, hours after the Revolution had theirs ended Friday night by Inter Miami's 1-0 win over Toronto FC.
Despite surrendering a late tying goal, the Revolution (10-12-11, 41 points) pounced on a transition chance that led to Carles Gil finding Bou in the box. Bou deftly sent Juan Jose Purata past him, then curled a shot into the upper right corner past Raul Gudino.
Only four minutes earlier, Atlanta (10-13-10, 40 points) got a much-needed boost to its flagging playoff hopes. Despite only managing four shots on goal on 15 shots, it was Atlanta's 16th shot that made it past Revolution goalkeeper Djordje Petrovic. Brooks Lennon lofted a cross-the-box ball that Josef Martinez latched onto with a beautiful bicycle kick that left Petrovic with no chance.
In the first half, Giacomo Vrioni opened the scoring for the home side. New England had good pressure on Gudino's box, and while Atlanta looked as if its last-ditch defensive effort would prevent a goal, a chipped pass into the box confused goalkeeper Gudino. He ended up tackling Vrioni in the 31st minute.
Vrioni stepped up to the penalty spot despite Atlanta's protests. He took one hop step, sent Gudino the wrong way, and slipped one into the back of the net just right of straight down the middle. The game was Vrioni's first start of the season.
Atlanta finished the afternoon with 62 percent possession time but managed only four shots on goal out of 19 total shots. With the Revolution already out of the playoff picture, Atlanta was the only team that had something to play for in the playoff race. Instead, it was the Revolution who looked like they were the team playing for a spot in the postseason most of the afternoon. They defended well, forcing Atlanta into low-percentage shots the majority of the game.
--Field Level Media