Juan Agudelo scored in the 28th minute and the New England Revolution defeated the Columbus Crew 1-0 on Sunday to qualify for the postseason for the first time in four seasons.
Agudelo completed a flawless give-and-go with Lee Nguyen on the right side of the box and scored from 12 yards in the 28th minute.
New England finished the season winning four of the team’s last six games, and will take on Sporting Kansas City in the first round of the MLS playoffs next weekend. New England moved from sixth in the Eastern Conference, one spot out of the playoffs, to third because it owns the tiebreaker against the Houston Dynamo.
”It’s a credit to all our guys because it wasn’t the prettiest game,” Revolution 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 has scored seven goals and tallied an assist in 14 games New England acquired him from Chivas USA on May 7.
”We were confident but not too confident. Our defense played awesome to finish it up,” he said. “We’ve got one of the best defenses in the league.”
The Crew finish the season 12-17-5 after dropping their second straight game.