Dallas Soccer DFW

New England out scores Dallas to get win at home

Published 9/16/2007 5:42:51 AM by staff from mlsnet

Two goals from Pat Noonan propelled the New England Revolution to a 4-2 victory against FC Dallas on Saturday night at Gillette Stadium, as the host scored three second-half goals to overcome a brace from FCD striker Carlos Ruiz

Noonan deftly flicked the Revolution in front on 29 minutes from a near-post Khano Smith cross, before Ruiz nodded the Hoops level six minutes later from a Dax McCarty free kick. But Noonan's second in the 65th minute gave New England a deserved lead and Steve Ralston doubled the lead after tapping in 12 minutes from time. Ruiz grabbed his second in the 84th minute to cause a nervous ending for the home side before Khano Smith clinched the points in the 90th minute with his first tally of the season.

Smith's goal capped an impressive performance, both from the Bermuda international and the home side. With the win, New England climbed to within four points of idle D.C. United in the race for the Eastern Conference crown. FC Dallas remain four points behind Chivas USA and three points behind Houston Dynamo in the Western Conference, with both of those teams still to play on Sunday.

With Steve Nicol suspended after being dismissed in last Sunday's 4-2 loss at D.C. United, assistant coach Paul Mariner stepped into the breach and manned the sidelines for New England. Mariner made one change and handed a start to James Riley in place of Jay Heaps, who went to the bench with a calf injury. Heaps did not train Wednesday and Thursday before training lightly on Friday.

FC Dallas head coach Steve Morrow made multiple changes from last Saturday's 2-0 victory against Toronto FC. Adrian Serioux remained in Dallas after featuring for Canada in the 1-1 midweek draw with Costa Rica. Clarence Goodson earned the start in his place. Anthony Wallace made his MLS debut on the left flank and McCarty returned on the right flank. Arturo Alvarez and Ricardinho dropped to the bench.

The two sides started at a pace that bordered on frenetic. New England asserted itself gradually in the opening periods, maintaining possession in the FC Dallas half and pinning the Hoops in behind the ball.

Denilson provided a temporary respite for Dallas in the 20th minute, flashing an effort just high and wide of the near post.

But New England seized control of the game on 29 minutes. Smith's near-post crosses from the left had tantalized all night and Noonan connected with one to force the Revolution in front. Noonan's flick with the outside of his right foot from the corner of the goal area looped over Dario Sala to seize the lead.

FC Dallas struck back against the run of play six minutes later. Matt Reis flapped at a McCarty dead ball served from the right flank. Reis's miscue created an opening for Ruiz to nod in, the Guatemalan international twisting and adjusting his body in mid-air to adjust to the flight of the ball at the far post.

Leveling the score line inspired the visitors and the Hoops could have pushed ahead with two chances in the following minutes. Abe Thompson's near-post header, again from McCarty's service, forced a diving save from Reis. After a scrum in the penalty area, Denilson headed towards goal only for Andy Dorman to clear off the end line as the match roared to life.

As the second stanza commenced, New England asserted control over the contest. The Revs dominated possession and continued to probe in search of a goal.

McCarty started the move Noonan finished for his second goal of the contest in the 65th minute. McCarty's sloppy giveaway allowed Jeff Larentowicz to slide through for Steve Ralston. Ralston pulled the ball back for Noonan to sidefoot home from 10 yards for his second of the night, sixth on the year, with the goals his first since Aug. 2.

Ralston sealed the three points 12 minutes from time. Sala wasn't able to control Dorman's low cross, knocking into Taylor Twellman's path. Twellman found Ralston, who jinked around one defender, had his initial effort blocked, and poked home the rebound for his third goal on the season.

Ruiz drew his side within one after substitute Dominic Oduro, inserted less than a minute before, crossed from the right flank for the Guatemalan striker to head home from 10 yards. For Ruiz, it was just his sixth goal on the campaign, with four coming in FCD's last seven games.

But it was left to Smith to cap a superb performance with a bit of luck as the match entered stoppage time. Smith struck from 23 yards with his right foot, sneaking his effort in at the near post past a prone Sala to ensure the three points for New England.

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