Alexandru Mitrita, who had a hat-trick against Atlanta United Wednesday, could not solve New England and Andrew Farrell Sunday. (Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports)
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — Wait ’til next week?
Perhaps, perhaps not, for New York City FC.
As of 7:15 p.m. Sunday, City had not clinched the Eastern Conference crown and home-field advantage throughout that part of the bracket of the MLS Cup Playoffs after dropping a 2-0 decision to the New England Revolution Sunday night.
NYCFC (17-6-10, 61 points) could clinch the conference title, depending on the result of the Columbus-Philadelphia match in Ohio, which had about a 40-minute lightning delay at halftime.
City needed a tie or a win here. Philly must avoid dropping points in Columbus to keep its first-place hopes alive. The conference will be decided when NYCFC faces the Union in Chester, Pa. on Decision Day, the final date of the regular season next Sunday.
New England goalkeeper Matt Turner was among the stars of the match for the hosts, who clinched a playoff spot with the win (the Revs are 11-10-12, 45) Turner made two big saves in the second half, Alexandru Mitrita in the 62nd minute and then Heber in the 85th minute.
Teal Bunbury opened the scoring in the 66th minute before Gustavo Bou added an insurance tally, chipping goalkeeper Sean Johnson in the 89th minute.