Dallas Soccer DFW

FC Dallas Falls to New England 2-1

Published 6/8/2008 3:01:02 PM by staff from mlsnet

Despite an attacking onslaught over the final 45 minutes, FC Dallas couldn't overcome two goals in the opening 22 minutes as the New England Revolution claimed a 2-1 victory Friday evening at Gillette Stadium.   New England's Adam Cristman opened the scoring after five minutes as fans settled into their seats for the first match of a doubleheader capped with a friendly between Brazil and Venezuela. Steve Ralston doubled the lead from the penalty spot in the 22nd minute.

The Revs held off an increasingly dangerous FC Dallas attack with a string of Matt Reis saves before Arturo Alvarez scored in the 91st minute to draw The Hoops within one. The Revs held on to the tenuous lead in second-half stoppage time to extend their lead atop the Eastern Conference to four points.  Ray Burse continued in goal as Dario Sala (hip) didn't make the trip from Dallas. Bobby Rhine earned the start on the left wing with Arturo Alvarez in reserve. Dominic Oduro continued up front alongside Kenny Cooper and hoped to extend his scoring streak to five games.

Revolution head coach Steve Nicol handed a start to Cristman after the second-year striker scored last weekend, and he repaid his coach's faith after just five minutes when he headed home at the far post. Sainey Nyassi beat Bobby Rhine on the right wing before delivering a high cross to the far post. Cristman beat his marker to the ball and dove to head home past Burse to stake his team to an early lead.   FC Dallas nearly engineered an instant reply. Rhine attempted to make amends when he collected the ball on the left side of the penalty area only to see the ball smack off the far post. The ball rebounded to Marcelo Saragosa. Instead of shooting, Saragosa squared to the far post for Kenny Cooper to tap home. But the assistant referee's flag went up, thwarting FCD's potential equalizer.

New England should have extended its lead on 17 minutes after Cristman's surging run down the right side opened space for Kheli Dube down the left. Cristman slid a pass to Dube in space, but the Zimbabwean's first touch betrayed him as he cut inside and the Hoops defense cleared the danger.  But the Revolution wouldn't be denied five minutes later. While preparing to deal with a Ralston corner kick, Drew Moor hit Jeff Larentowicz with a forearm shiver in preparation for a corner kick. After assistant referee Steven Taylor flagged the foul, referee Michael Kennedy pointed to the spot despite vigorous protests from the Dallas players.  Steve Ralston, replacing usual penalty taker Shalrie Joseph after Joseph missed in Columbus two weeks ago, hesitated in his run-up and then directed his effort past Burse. The penalty kick was Ralston's first since Sept. 30, 2006 against Colorado.

FC Dallas attempted to claw back into contest, mostly through Andre Rocha's service down the right wing, but there was little incisiveness to their play.   New England could have added to the lead two minutes after the break when Ralston's free kick found a diving Larentowicz, but Burse managed to save and the FC Dallas defense hacked clear.  FC Dallas applied some pressure as Rocha forced an awkward save out of Reis and Dominic Oduro forced Reis to punch over his bar. The pressure nearly paid off as the referee played advantage after a foul on Oduro and Bobby Rhine picked up the ball and forced Reis into a low save to his left.

But FC Dallas sent players forward in search of a point and continued to threaten Reis. Kenny Cooper's low effort drew a five-hole save from Reis. A second low, curling shot from Cooper drew another save from Reis before Duilio Davino's header forced a reaction save from the Revs goalkeeper.  Then Reis foiled Cooper again inside the goal area with a diving header five minutes from time. Reis ended the game with 10 saves, eight in the second 45 minutes.  Yet the Hoops didn't relent and substitute Alvarez volleyed into the roof of the net after Shalrie Joseph let him roam free and Oduro's cross found him at the far post. The goal set up a testing few minutes for the Revs' defense, but New England held on to claim all three points.

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