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Buksa scores twice in Revs’ 3-0 victory over Pumas

Boston Herald logo Boston Herald 3/10/2022 Rich Thompson
BOSTON, MA - March 9: Carles Gil #10 celebrates with Sebastian Lletget #17 of New England Revolution after scoring during the first half of the Concacaf Champions League against Pumas UNAM at Gillette Stadium on March 9, 2022 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Staff Photo By Matt Stone/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald) © Provided by Boston Herald BOSTON, MA - March 9: Carles Gil #10 celebrates with Sebastian Lletget #17 of New England Revolution after scoring during the first half of the Concacaf Champions League against Pumas UNAM at Gillette Stadium on March 9, 2022 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Staff Photo By Matt Stone/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald)

FOXBORO – The New England Revolution’s first international foray in 12 years was hotly contested on a frosty evening.

The Revolution captured leg one of their Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal series against Mexico City based Pumas USAM of Liga MX with a 3-0 victory under wintery conditions on Wednesday night at Gillette Stadium.

The temperature at gametime was 32 degrees while an accumulating snowfall kept the grounds’ crew occupied during the pregame and halftime.

“Our guys weren’t too troubled by it,” said Revolution coach Bruce Arena. “We had no advantage, we hadn’t practiced in the snow so it was as challenging for us as it was for our opponent.”

The Revolution resume MLS play on Saturday night (7:30) against Real Salt Lake at Gillette before traveling to Mexico City for leg 2 with Pumas on Wednesday (10:30) at Estadio Olimpico Universitario.

Despite a congested schedule of five games in 15 days, Revolution coach Bruce Arena made only two changes to the starting 11 that beat FC Dallas 1-0 on Saturday.

Arena started midfielder Anor Traustason, the Revs’ international transfer from Iceland, in place of Tommy McNamara. Arena replaced injured center back Henry Kessler (hamstring) with Omar Gonzalez, a veteran of 28 CCL matches on teams from both sides of the Rio Grande. Gonzalez made appearances for MLS with Toronto FC and C.F. Pachuca of Liga MX.

Keeper Earl Edwards Jr., who made his third start in place of injured Matt Turner (foot/ankle), recorded his second consecutive clean sheet. Adam Buksa scored twice in the second half and Carles Gil finished with two helpers.

“This is a 180-minute game basically,” said Arena. “It was important to score goals and not concede any so we can go to Mexico City with a little bit of a cushion.”

The Revolution went up 1-0 in the 19th minute with a fabulous collaboration set in motion by Gustavo Bou at midfield. Bou led the break down the middle before feeding DeJuan Jones on the left flank.

Jones fed Gil in the box where the Revs’ rainmaker relayed the ball to Sebastian Lletget on the right half of the penalty area. Lletget beat Pumas’ keeper Alfredo Talavera low inside the near post for his second of the season.

“Sebastian can do many things and he is running all the time and pressing the attack,” said Gil. “He is a very good player running to the ball and I think we scored a very good goal.”

Bou had an open shot from the penalty area in the 44th minute that sailed wide right. He also had an uncontested shot bounce off the crossbar in the 55th minute and had a goal taken away on an offside call in the 58th minute.

The Revs went up 2-0 when Gil set up Buksa in the middle of the penalty area. Talavera made the initial stop, but Buksa followed his shot and booted it home in the 72nd minute. Buksa scored his second in the 92nd minute.

“He (Buksa) had a tough time for large segments of the game and he kept working hard and pushing and hanging in there,” said Arena. “Then he got two huge goals.”

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