The second half of the New England Revolution and New York Red Bulls‘ Eastern Conference Championship second-leg matchup picked up right where the final 20 minutes of the first half left off and treated 32,698 in attendance — including 1,200-plus traveling Red Bulls fans — to a playoff encounter they’ll not soon forget.
Mike Petke‘s Red Bulls needed a goal to send the series into extra time, or any greater one-goal advantage to win the series in regular time. Jay Heaps‘ Revolution would go through only with a level second half, or advantage of their own.
And it was the Revs who booked their place in MLS Cup, the club’s first since 2007, the last of their unprecedented back-to-back-to-back finals defeats.
Just seven minutes into the final 45, Peguy Luyindula put the Red Bulls back up, 2-1, on the day and level on aggregate, 3-3. The French midfielder pounced on a deflected loose ball at the top of the 6-yard box and slotted it around onrushing Revs goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth (below video).
Tim Cahill, who scored a brilliant, all-effort goal to give the Red Bulls life in the first half, had a golden opportunity to his side its first aggregate lead of the series in the 65th minute when he got in behind the Revs’ defense, latched onto a ball over the tap, only to smash it well over the bar.
That miss was made to be rued almost immediately, as Charlie Davies bagged his second of the day (above video) just five minutes later, putting the Revs level on the day, 2-2, and back ahead on aggregate, 3-2. Following a hectic sequence where Red Bulls goalkeeper Luis Robles was called into action multiple times to punch and clear, Revs midfielder-for-the-day Chris Tierney delivered and inch-perfect, curling cross onto the head of Davies at the top of the 6-yard box. The once-US national team star made no mistake and hammered the ball into the back of the net, putting his side through to MLS Cup 2014.
The Revs will travel to face the winner of Sunday’s Western Conference Championship decider (9:20 pm ET), either the LA Galaxy or Seattle Sounders, next Sunday (3 pm ET) with the Philip F. Anschutz Trophy on the line.
New England: Shuttleworth; Alston, Goncalves (c), Soares, Farrell; Caldwell, Jones; Tierney, Nguyen, Bunbury; Davies (Rowe 84′)
Goals: Davies (41′, 70′)
New York Red Bulls: Robles, Eckersley, Olave, Sekagaya (Lade 86′), Oyongo, McCarty, Alexander (Bover 90+1′), Sam, Luyindula, Henry, Cahill
Goals: Cahill (26′), Luyindula (52′)