The Philadelphia Union beat the New England Revolution four times in 2020 en route to winning a first-ever Supporters Shield title, launching Jim Curtin’s club into unfamiliar territory as an MLS Cup favorite. But led by a Carles Gil masterclass, the Revs stunned the Union 2-0 at Subaru Park in Round One of the Audi 2020 MLS Cup Playoffs.
The Revs rode a pair of goals set up by their Spanish playmaker in the opening 30 minutes to advance to the Conference Semifinals where they will face Orlando City SC Nov. 29 at Exploria Stadium. It is the second major Eastern Conference upset after No. 2 seed Toronto FC were ousted by expansion side Nashville SC, 1-0 in extratime.
The Revs drew first blood on a set piece in the 26th minute, with Gil delivering a perfectly floated ball into the box and Adam Buksa rose up to head it past Andre Blake from eight yards out.
Four minutes later, New England doubled their lead with Gil again pulling the strings. With acres of space to attack, Gil found Tajon Buchanan, who danced around Kai Wagner in the box and buried his shot inside the far post.
Gil nearly put the game away in the 52nd minute but his cheeky chip from 20 yards out caromed off the crossbar.
Jim Curtin used the Ilsinho card for the start of the second half, hoping the Brazilian could conjure up another supersub performance.
Matt Turner was pressed into making a routine save of a Kacper Przybylko headed just outside the six-yard box off a Jamiro Monteiro set piece service in the 64th minute, only his second save of the match.
But that would be the last quality chance for a Union side that crashed out of the playoffs at the first hurdle.