The New England Revolution terminated an annoying hex while recording their best start in 10 years.
The Revolution got their first win over Atlanta United in seven tries with a 2-1 victory on Saturday night at Gillette Stadium. At 2-0-1, the Revs have their best start since 2011 and won their first two home games for the first time since 2017.
Midfielder Carles Gil led the way with a goal, an assist and a dominant wire-to-wire attacking performance on the pitch. Gil needed to step up as playmaker and finisher because striker Gustavo Bou was out with a minor muscle injury.
“It was a real good performance and I think for 90 minutes we played well against a very good team,” said Revolution head coach Bruce Arena. “It’s a good start and this is a challenging schedule and will get even more complicated when we start playing a number of games a week. So, we needed to start off well and we have and we needed to win games at home which we have as well.”
The Revolution went up 2-1 on a penalty kick by Gil in the 53rd minute. Atlanta midfielder Emerson Hyndman fouled midfielder Tajon Buchanan at the edge of the penalty area. Referee Chris Penso initially ruled a free kick outside the box, but a video review showed the foul occurred inside the penalty area. Gil fired a shot low right that Atlanta goalkeeper Brad Guzan had no chance of stopping.
“He played very well but I’m not sure he brought it up a notch because that’s just how Carles plays,” said Arena. “In my opinion he is one of the elite players in the league.”
Arena substituted Teal Bunbury and Tommy McNamara in place of Buchanan and Arnor Traustason in the 73rd minute for defensive purposes. McNamara broke up a 3-on-2 Atlanta break at the top of the box in the 78th minute. Bunbury cleared the box on an Atlanta corner kick in the 86th minute.
Gil made two magnificent plays in the first half, the second of which resulted in a 1-0 lead in the 19th minute. Gil lined up a free kick in the 17th minute and Henry Kesler rose above a pair of defenders and headed the ball off the right post.
Gil second’s bid began when he had a beautiful first touch of a long pass from Andrew Farrell just to the left of the box. Gil cut toward the middle and connected with Brandon Bye, who headed the ball past Guzan for his first goal of the season.
“We all know Carles’ capabilities he has on the ball and the vision he has,” said Bye. “He gets it on his right foot with his head up and whenever he gets on the ball you just run because he can find you.”
Gil also had a chance to make it 2-0 but misfired on an open shot from the penalty area in the 25th minute.
Atlanta tied the game 1-1 on a penalty kick in the 43rd minute. Bye tackled Marcelino Moreno from behind as he streaked through the penalty area prompting Penso to award the penalty kick. Moreno snuck it past Matt Turner with a low shot just inside the left post for his third goal of the season.
Farrell moved into third place with his 238th career start with the Revs.