Philadelphia Union triumphed 3-1 over New England Revolution in game one of the best-of-three MLS Cup playoffs series at Subaru Park as goals from Daniel Gazdag, Mikael Uhre and Nathan Harriel sealed the victory.
The Union were the favorites leading up to the clash after winning 10 of their 17 home games during the 2023 season, but not many expected the dominant first half display from Jim Curtin’s side. It didn’t take too long for the hosts to get things going, as Gazdag slotted home a penalty kick to give his team an early 1-0 lead in the 19th minute.
Just seven minutes later, Philadelphia added a second through through a tap-in from Uhre. Union Full-back Kai Wagner did most of the heavy lifting on the move sending in a cross that bounced off a Revs defender and into the path of Uhre.
But the Union weren’t done there. As Wagner provided the assist for the second goal, he couldn’t help himself but also send in a picture perfect free kick for fellow full-back Nathan Harriel to latch on to just before half time to extend the home side’s lead to 3-0.
The Revs grabbed a consolation goal with roughly 20 minutes left in regulation, as Gustavo Bou danced past a couple of Union defenders before sending home a near-post strike past Andre Blake.
In previous years, the away goal would’ve helped tremendously when MLS playoffs were set up with two legs (home and away) up until the final. But with a best-of-three series, the goal doesn’t help New England in the grand scheme of things outside of not conceding in the second half.
Not only are the Revs a game down in the series, but they’re also a man down as well. Playmaker Carles Gil was forced off the field in the 23rd minute due to a leg injury. It’s a huge loss for New England if he’s unable to play again this postseason after his terrific 2023 campaign that saw him net 11 goals and 15 assists.
The two teams will go head-to-head again in game two on November 8 a Gillette Stadium with New England looking to level the series in front of their home supporters.
Sign up now for MLS Season Pass on Apple TV to watch all the action from the 2023 Major League Soccer season. Click here to subscribe!