Monday, March 10, 2014
The Associated Press
COLUMBUS, Ohio — Juan Agudelo scored midway through the first half and the New England Revolution beat the Columbus Crew 1-0 on Sunday to qualify for the postseason for the first time since 2009.
The Revolution (14-11-9) needed to win their regular-season finale because Houston defeated D.C. United earlier in the day to also reach 51 points. New England moved from sixth in the Eastern Conference, one spot out of the playoffs, to third because it owns the tiebreaker against Houston.
New England finished the season with a 4-0-2 stretch and will take on Sporting Kansas City in the first round of the playoffs next weekend.
“It’s a credit all our guys because it wasn’t the prettiest game,” New England Coach Jay Heaps said. “They showed a lot more heart than any game I’ve seen because there were situations we had to fight and dig in deep.
“We lost the possession battle, but every other battle I felt we won.”
Agudelo completed a crafty give-and-go with Lee Nguyen on the right side of the box and put away his ninth goal from 12 yards in the 28th minute.
The Crew (12-17-5) dropped their second straight game.
“There was no rhythm to the game, unfortunately,” Crew interim coach Brian Bliss said. “That was their game plan. It worked.”