New England upsets Montreal 2-1; advance to MLS Playoffs

The 2020 Audi MLS Cup Playoffs got off to a thrilling start, as the New England Revolution topped the Montreal Impact 2-1 in the Play-In Round match between the sides at Gillette Stadium on Friday.

Carles Gil scored the first goal of the match for New England in the 38th minute, giving the Revs a 1-0 lead they would hold into the second half, only to relinquish it thanks to a clutch leveler from Montreal’s Romell Quioto. But Bou came to the rescue on with of the last kicks of the match with a stunning distance strike that sends New England through and brings Montreal’s season to a heartbreaking end.

The Revs had the better of the chances throughout much of the first half and found their breakthrough courtesy of Gil, who lashed home a gorgeous first-time volley off a feed from Bou.

But the Impact would strike back in the 61st minute after Amar Sejdic sent a free kick into the box that was headed back across the danger zone by Rudy Camacho into the path of a charging Quioto. The Honduran cashed home the huge equalizer with a perfectly placed headed finish past the outstretched arms of New England goalkeeper Matt Turner.

The leveler set up a back-and-forth finish as the sides swapped chances in search of a winning goal. The Revs had a flurry of close chances, starting in the 76th minute, when Gil found Teal Bunbury wide open in the box for a look on goal with Montreal goalkeeper Clement Diop charging off his line. But Bunbury put a curling effort just over the crossbar.

New England nearly struck for a winner twice more before full-time, as Bou had a shot trickle just wide in the 86th minute and Gil was denied by a sprawling save from Diop just moments later. Adam Buska also came within inches of a dramatic winner in second-half stoppage time with a snap header that looked bound for goal but was denied again by a diving Diop, who managed to deflect the shot off the post and get Montreal within mere moments of extra time. 

But the Montreal goalkeeper’s late heroics would be extinguished by a spectacular winner from Bou just before the final whistle, as the Argentine lashed home a laser strike from distance into the bottom corner, sending the Revs through in dramatic fashion to face either the Philadelphia Union or Toronto FC.