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Revolution 2, Philadelphia Union 1

Gustavo Bou scores twice as Revolution snap three-game skid

Revolution forward Gustavo Bou (left) defends the ball from Philadelphia Union defender Damion Lowe.MARK STOCKWELL FOR THE BOSTON GLOBE/Mark Stockwell / The Sun Chronicle

FOXBOROUGH — As things turned out, the Revolution had little chance to improve their playoff standing on the final day of the regular season. But by taking a 2-1 win against the Philadelphia Union on Saturday, the Revolution might have gained a psychological edge for the playoffs when the teams meet in Chester, Pa., next week.

Gustavo Bou scored twice as the Revolution (15-9-10, 55 points) moved into a fourth-place tie with the Union, who have an identical record and a plus-16 goal differential, four better than the Revolution.

Bou scored for the first time since sustaining a leg injury in an Aug. 3 Leagues Cup game, as the Revolution snapped a three-game losing streak and finished with a 12-1-4 home mark before an announced crowd of 41,355.

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Philadelphia opened the scoring in the 16th minute, Julian Carranza capitalizing on a mix-up to convert his 14th goal of the season. Carranza finished into an open net while on the ground following a collision involving Mikael Uhre and Revolution goalkeeper Jacob Jackson.

The Revolution rallied as Bou equalized on a 25th-minute penalty kick. A Tomas Chancalay-Carles Gil combination set things up off a turnover, Gil’s right-footer stopped by a Damion Lowe handball. Referee Tori Penso immediately awarded the penalty, cautioning Lowe, and Bou finished with a low shot past a diving Andre Blake.

Bou converted the decider in the 41st minute, finishing a 2-on-3 counterattack that resulted in his seventh goal of the season. Noel Buck started the sequence, Gil then finding Bou, who outpaced Lowe, his low finish deflecting off Blake.

Observations from Saturday’s game:

Defining moment: On the deciding goal, Bou timed his run to avoid the offside trap, and Gil executed a perfect lead pass. The two have been clicking since Bou’s first Revolution appearance, when he volleyed a Gil corner kick for a spectacular score in a 4-0 win over the Vancouver Whitecaps.

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Difference-maker: Bou’s finishing ability has made a difference for the Revolution since he arrived midway through the 2019 season. With Bou in the starting lineup this year, the Revolution have compiled an 11-2-4 record, totaling 35 goals (2.1 per game). Bou increased his goal total to 50 in all competitions, fifth on the all-time Revolution scoring list.

Tactical: The Revolution’s 4-2-3-1 alignment provided defensive security, outside backs DeJuan Jones and Ryan Spaulding limiting the Union outside threats. Bou is usually more effective performing in a two-forward setup, but the alignment worked well by exploiting space in the Union’s back line of three central defenders.

Statistical analysis: The Union were limited to three corner kicks and credited with 11 crosses, a result of the Revolution improving their wing defending, and Jones containing left back Kai Wagner.

By the numbers: The Revolution would have needed to win by at least three goals to have an opportunity to gain home-field advantage in the post-season. the Revolution finished with a 14-2-6 home record in all competitions. Away, the Revolution had a 3-8-6 mark in league play, going winless in 13 road games (0-7-6) since May.

Road ahead: The Revolution and Union will play a best-of-three series Oct. 28-Nov. 12, with the opener in Philadelphia.

What they said: “I know this could be one of my last games with the club, knowing my contract is up at the end of the year. We haven’t talked about my future but I always try to enjoy the moment, that’s been the mentality since my first day here. If these are my last games here I want them to be the best games and I want to play them in the best way possible. Bruce Arena [former sporting director/head coach] had confidence in me in bringing me here and I’ll always be thankful for this. But like I’ve always said futbol takes you where it wants, not where you want it to take you.” – Bou

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