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NYCFC eliminates Revolution in penalty shootout triumph


New York City FC continued its blazing hot streak, ending the New England Revolution’s playoff hopes after a penalty shootout and late extra-time drama in the Eastern Conference Semifinal.

New York City FC triumphed over the Supporters’ Shield winners on Tuesday night, winning 5-3 in a penalty shootout. Sean Johnson saved Adam Buksa’s penalty attempt in the second round and NYCFC took advantage by making all five of its attempts, capped by a left-footed blast from Alex Callens for the winning penalty.

Late heroics from Tajon Buchanan leveled a tightly-contested, end-to-end match. Buchanan finished off an Ema Boateng cross at the back post in the 118th minute to tie the match at 2-2.

Buchanan’s equalizer came nine minutes after a back-post header from Valentin “Taty” Castellanos seemed to deliver the match in NYCFC’s favor.

Minutes after his goal, however, Castellanos was shown his second yellow card and sent off, leaving NYCFC playing down a man, and essentially down two men late in the match due to Tayvon Gray being limited by a leg injury and NYCFC being out of substitution windows.

The Revs successfully tied the score with Buchanan’s volley, but were unable to find a winner, sending the match to a penalty shootout.

NYCFC won the coin toss to kick first, giving the visitors an edge heading into the shootout, and the team that had its 2020 season ended in a dramatic penalty shootout loss to Orlando City responded with an excellent shootout, as Johnson denied Buksa’s attempt and all five NYCFC’s penalty takers converted, beating Matt Turner, who guessed right on two attempts but still couldn’t keep them out.

Now NYCFC will head to Subaru Park to face the Philadelphia Union on Sunday in the Eastern Conference final, which will be the first conference final for both teams. NYCFC will be without Castellanos, who will be suspended for the match, leaving Ronny Deila’s squad without the MLS Golden Boot winner.

New York City FC struck first, in only the third minute, with a clean finish from Santiago Rodriquez off an in-swinging cross from 19-year-old right back Tayvon Gray, who made his fourth start of the season.

The Revolution responded six minutes later, when Buksa headed a free-kick feed from Carles Gil into the bottom right corner in the ninth minute. Buksa proved with the goal he’s back to full fitness after spending the layoff between the regular season and playoffs recovering from a foot injury.

NYCFC threatened the Revs much of the match with 15 shots and three shots on target. Johnson needed to make only one save in regulation, on a Gustavo Bou shot in the 68th minute.


  1. Poor coaching by Arena, as evidenced by his substitutions. He was reactive, not proactive. NYFC dominated and New England should have made some changes early in the second half. Instead, Arena waited until extra time to make his first subs, and then only after NYFC scored with 10 minutes left in the second overtime, did he bring on some attacking players.

    I would have started bringing in subs right after the hour mark when NYFC had a series of near misses, but what do you expect from the Payaso that couldn’t manage a draw at Trinidad on the final day of the Hex in 2017.


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