New York City FC triumphs 2-2 (5-3) over MLS Cup favorites New England Revolution in an absolutely crazy match, qualifying for the Eastern Conference final as goalkeeper Sean Johnson becomes an instant hero.
After 120+ minutes of play and two dramatic extra time goals, Johnson stepped up to save Adam Buksa’s penalty kick and eliminate the Supporters Shield winners. NYCFC will now face the Philadelphia Union.
New York City kicked off the Eastern Conference semifinal with an unmatched intensity, pushing numbers forward to dominate on the attack.
Just three minutes in, Tayvon Gray found Santiago Rodriguez inside the box, timing the cross perfectly for the left wing to direct the ball into the upper left corner and earn the 1-0 lead.
The goal appeared to have woken up the New England Revolution.
The home side shutdown NYCFC’s celebrations shortly after as Alex Buska headed home a free kick by Carles Gil for the equalizer.
Frustrations increased on both sides as the game progressed, leading to unnecessary fouls and yellow cards. By the 60th minute, 23 overall fouls had been committed.
The pace heightened in the second half as NYCFC continuously pounced on the attack to overload the Revolution’s defense. 2021 MLS Golden Boot winner Valentin Castellanos led the offense, forcing Matt Turner into completing two game-changing saves.
The home side attempted to retaliate on a couple of occasions but couldn’t match their opponent’s tempo.
Castellanos missed a clear opportunity for New York in the 89 minute but made up for it in overtime. His moment culminated in the 109 minute after Gudmundur Thórarinsson provided the perfect assist for him to head the ball past Matt Turner.
Seconds after scoring, Castellanos received a second yellow and was consequently sent off the pitch. He is suspended for the match and will not feature.
The Revolution had the last laugh, retaliating with a stunning play led by Tajon Buchanon. Emmanuel Boateng crossed the ball to the Canadian, who managed a first time finish right into the lower left corner.
And with that: penalties.
Both sides were leveled until NYCFC goalkeeper Sean Johnson made the unexpected save against Adam Buksa to send his side into a frenzy. Following his miss, Thiago Andrade and Alfredo Morales both scored over Matt Turner to secure the win.
New England Revolution player ratings
1. Goalkeeper & defenders
Matt Turner (GK) - 6/10 - He really should have done more as MLS Goalkeeper of the Year.
DeJuan Jones (RB) - 5/10 - Fine game, but scored his penalty kick.
Henry Kessler (CB) - 4/10 - Really should have been more involved for a player of his caliber.
Andrew Farrell (CB) - 2/10 - He played?
Brandon Bye (LB) - 4/10 - Moments where he was really involved, but couldn't make the necessary impact.
2. Wing-backs & midfielders
Tommy McNamara (CM) - 5/10 - very sloppy on the ball
Matt Polster (CM) - 4/10 - Fine, nothing special.
Tajon Buchanan (CM) - 6/10 - Tried to get into the action but instead committed several unnecessary fouls out of frustration.
Carles Gil (CAM) - 5/10 - Could have been drastically better in finding a way to impact the game.
Adam Buksa (F) - 8/10 - scored the equalizer for the Revolution before missing his penalty kick to hand NYCFC the win
Gustavo Bou (F) - 5/10 - barely made an appearance inside NYCFC's half
Teal Bunbury - 6/10 - scored his penalty kick
Emmanuel Boateng - 6/10 - Came on, provided an assist and did his job
Maciel - 3/10 - Did his job as a substitute
New York City FC player ratings
5. Goalkeeper & defenders
Sean Johnson (GK) - 7/10 - Fine game, but really came through during the penalty kicks
Tayvon Gray (RB) - 6/10 - Good game, provided an assist.
Maxime Chanot (CB) - 4/10 - Really could have changed the game had he been more involved.
Alexander Callens (CB) - 6/10 - Did well, scored his penalty kick.
Malte Amundsen (LB) - 3/10 - Subbed off due to lack of involvement.
6. Wing-backs & midfielders
Jesús Medina (RW) - 6/10 - very messy on the ball, could have managed a goal or assist with more precision
Alfredo Morales (CM) - 6/10 - Didn't realize he was even on the pitch during the important moments.
Maximiliano Moralez (CAM) - 5/10 - Expected so much more from an attacking midfielder but scored his penalty kick
James Sands (CM) - 5/10 - Could've more as one of the brightest young talents of the league.
Santiago Rodriquez (LW) - 8/10 - Scored the game's first goal before disappearing.
Valentín Castellanos (F) - 7/10 - Great goal in extra time, but ended the night with a red card and suspension
Ismael Tajouri- 5/10 - Made his penalty and didn't negatively impact the match.
Tony Rocha- 3/10 - Went completely undetected.
Gudmundur Thórarinsson - 7/10 - Came off the bench with a great energy and provided the necessary assist.
Thiago Andrade - 6/10 - Didn't do much during extra time but scored his penalty kick.