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Recap: Revolution II 4 - 3 Philadelphia Union II
The comeback kids do it again! Revolution II earn their second-consecutive comeback victory!
New England Revolution II returned to action Sunday afternoon as they faced Philadelphia Union II inside Subaru Park.
Revolution II entered Sunday’s contest on the heels of a thrilling 3-2 comeback victory against Toronto FC II last week.
There were four changes to the lineup that defeated Toronto. 2022 SuperDraft pick Jacob Jackson made his season debut as he earned the start in goal. Jackson made his first appearance since July 10th, 2022. A devastating ACL injury that required surgery derailed Jacob Jackson's rookie season after earning five clean sheets in fourteen appearances.
Peyton Miller returned to the lineup after playing with the Revolution U-17 squad in MLS NEXT Flex competition. Miller comprised the back line alongside Pierre Cayet, Victor Souza, and Tiago Suarez. Esmir Bajraktarević, Joshua Bolma, and Jake Rozhansky formed the midfield, while Damian Rivera, Jordan Adebayo-Smith, and Marcos Dias provided the attack.
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Revolution II were awarded a good opportunity in the 9th minute as Hugo Le Guennec laid a chopping challenge on Bajraktarević just outside the box. Bajraktarević and Dias stood over the ball, but Bajraktarević was the one to send it in as he sent a shot directly at the Philadelphia wall. Luckily for Bajraktarević, the shot took a deflection off a Union II player in the wall and into the back of the net to give Revolution II a 1-0 lead just ten minutes into the match.
Momentum quickly changed in the 17th minute as Bolma’s heavy touch led to Jeremy Rafanello winning the ball for Philadelphia. Rafanello lobbed the ball through the Revs II defense to a darting Chris Donovan. Donovan unleashed a shot to the bottom left corner and while Jackson stretched his body, it wasn’t enough as the ball rolled into the back of the net to level the score.
Philadelphia again laid their foot on the gas pedal in the 24th as they sent a long ball up the right flank to Donovan who evaded the ensuing pressure and sent a low-driven cross centrally to José Riasco. Riasco found himself just a step ahead of the cross as the ball bounced off his leg and directly to Christopher Olney, who slotted the ball into the back of the net to give Philadelphia a 2-1 lead.
Rivera came close to leveling things in first-half stoppage time as he drove down the left flank. The first teamer then turned towards goal and cut to his right to generate space. Rivera looked to find the bottom left corner of the net, but his shot trailed to the left as it rolled out for a goal kick to end the first half.
There was one change for Revolution II at halftime as Malcolm Fry replaced Bolma.
Union II wasted no time getting things going in the second half as a turnover by Revs II in their defensive half led to Jeremy Rafanello driving down the right flank and sending a ball centrally to Donovan. Donovan withstood Souza’s pressure as he slotted the ball past Jackson and into the net to give Philadelphia a commanding 3-1 lead early in the second half.
Revolution II nearly found the back of the net in the 57th as Dias, with his back to goal, cut the ball to his right to Rivera on the left side of the box. Rivera got onto the ball and ripped a shot to the left side of the goal, but Holden Trent was all over it as he made the save.
Jordan Adebayo-Smith came close to reducing the deficit twice in the 59th minute as he found himself one-on-one against Trent. Adebayo-Smith attempted to curve the ball around Trent, but the keeper came up with the save.
But Trent failed to get a hold of the ball as Adebayo-Smith got on top of the rebound and attempted to find the net. Trent again made the save to simmer Revolution II’s scoring chance.
A pair of substitutions came in the 66th minute as Colby Quiñones and Jacob Akanyirige came on for Miller and Suarez.
Rivera generated a phenomenal chance in the 68th as he drove inside the box from the left flank and cut the ball centrally to Adebayo-Smith, who tapped the ball into the back of the net to cut Philadelphia’s lead. Revolution II’s excitement quickly faded as the head referee waived off as Adebayo-Smith was deemed to be offside in the lead-up.
Bajraktarević put Revolution II on his back in the 75th minute as he received Jake Rozhansky’s pass in the midfield and snaked through Philadelphia’s attempt to pressure him as he laid a left-footed shot on goal from outside the box. Bajraktarević’s shot trickled past Trent into the back of the net to shrink Philadelphia’s lead to one.
Things got exciting in the 86th minute as Maike Villero was handed his second yellow card and ejected from the game. With four minutes plus stoppage time, Revs II had time to find a winner.
When it mattered the most, the Revolution II offense delivered as Cayet lobbed a ball to the right side of the box. No one got to the ball, but it bounced to Fry on the right flank. Fry cut the ball back to Dias, who crossed the ball centrally.
Rivera, who was adjacent to the goal, flicked the ball behind him to Bajraktarević on the left side of the box. Bajraktarević unleashed a shot to the bottom right corner that evaded the Philadelphia defense and the keeper as the ball sailed into the net to give Bajraktarević a hat trick and Revolution II their first lead of the evening.
For the second time in as many games, Revolution II erased a multi-goal deficit to pick up all three points on the road as they secured the 4-3 victory. Sunday’s epic comeback victory temporarily moves Revs II to third place as they await results around the league. Revs II possesses seventeen points on a 5-3-1 record with one shootout victory.
Revolution II will look to continue their winning streak as they enter a busy week that sees them play two games in four days. Revs II return to action Thursday, May 25th, as they host Columbus Crew 2 at 7:00 PM ET on MLS Season Pass, followed by another match at home on Sunday, May 28th, as they face Inter Miami CF II at 6:00 PM ET on MLSNEXTPro.com.