Philadelphia beats New England to take game 1 of playoff series


Union take charge of playoffs with 3-1 win over Revs

Philadelphia Union hang on to 3-0 halftime lead to the first game of the Eastern Conference Playoffs vs. New England.

Daniel Gazdag scored his fourth career MLS Cup Playoff goal and the Philadelphia Union did all their damage before halftime in a 3-1 victory over the visiting New England Revolution in Game 1 of their best-of-three Round One series.

Mikkel Uhre and Nathan Harriel also scored for Philadelphia, the defending Eastern Conference champions who earned the fourth seed in the playoff bracket ahead of New England based on the second tiebreaker of a better goal difference.

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Gustavo Bou scored his third goal in his last two games to give the Revolution something to build on after watching 2021 MLS MVP Carles Gil leave after 23 minutes with an apparent leg injury.

Gil will have more than a week to try and recover, with Game 2 set at New England on Nov. 8.

Philadelphia striker Julian Carranza also made what appeared an injury-influenced exit in the 60th minute after first showing signs of distress shortly before halftime.

Gazdag scored his 18th penalty in all competitions this season to give the Union the lead at the 19-minute mark.

Carranza earned the penalty when he beat Jacob Jackson to the ball on the left side of the 18-yard box and was clipped by the rookie goalkeeper.

Referee Pierre-Luc Luzie originally waved play on but awarded the penalty after a video review. Gazdag stepped forward and finished cleanly inside the right post as Jackson guessed incorrectly and dove to the wrong side.

Gil's exit followed four minutes later, and three minutes after that Uhre had doubled the Union's lead.

Kai Wagner got forward down the left, then crossed toward Uhre near the penalty spot. Defender Dave Romney nearly turned the cross into his own net, and though Jackson reacted well to keep it out for a moment, the rebound fell to Uhre for a simple finish.

Harriel added the third in the 37th minute when reached Wagner's diagonal free kick from the right and powered a back-post header past Jackson from close range.

Bou pulled New England back within two in the 68th minute, but Andre Blake's exceptional reflex save of Bobby Wood's 75th-minute effort prevented any truly late nervy moments for home fans.