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New England Revolution Advance to U.S. Open Cup Final

jay-heaps-newThe New England Revolution advanced to the 2016 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Final with a 3-1 victory against the Chicago Fire at Gillette Stadium on Tuesday night. With the win, New England clinches its third trip to the Open Cup Final and its first appearance since 2007, when it won the tournament.

The Revolution will play for the 2016 U.S. Open Cup title on the road against the winner of Wednesday’s Semifinal matchup between LA Galaxy and FC Dallas. The winner of the tournament will earn a berth in the 2017-18 CONCACAF Champions League.

Kei Kamara opened the scoring in the 16th minute from penalty spot after Kelyn Rowe was brought down in the box.

David Accam scored a terrific equalizer for Chicago in the 40th minute, but Je-Vaughn Watson quickly answered with a headed goal just two minutes later, which would prove to be the game winner.

Watson tends to score in spurts, and both Wednesday’s opponent and the Open Cup tournament have served to fuel the recent barrage. Slotted into the Revs backline for tonight’s match, the Jamaican also scored in New England’s quarterfinal victory against Philadelphia.

“He’s hungry. He likes the ball. He’s dangerous and he never stops moving in the box. That’s the important thing,” said New England coach Jay Heaps of Watson.

“He’s not just waiting for the first service, he’s reading. Those are the ones people stop on. He just keeps going.”

“It was a big moment for us because we were so disappointed [Accam’s] goal went through. … I love that we responded well.”

New England will be seeking their first Open Cup title since 2007, and the guaranteed spot in the CONCACAF Champions League that comes along with it. The Revs, who are currently tied with Orlando City for the sixth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, are also hoping the Cup run will propel them to a strong finish in league play

“There’s a lot of things we can take from this game,” said Teal Bunbury, who put the game away with an 85th-minute strike and showed composure in pulling Kelyn Rowe from a late-match scrum that ended with a red card for Accam.

“Obviously, winning is huge playing at home, moving the ball around well. Defensively we were in great shape.”