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Revolution 2, Sporting Kansas City 1

The SportsXchange

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Andy Dorman and Kelyn Rowe scored second-half goals to lead the New England Revolution to a stunning 2-1 victory over Sporting Kansas City in the first leg of the Eastern Conference semifinals at Gillette Stadium on Saturday night.

Aurelien Collin had the lone goal for Kansas City, which will play host to the second and final match of the series on Wednesday. The winner will be determined by aggregate scoring.

New England, making its first postseason appearance since 2009, won three straight matches to close the regular season and went undefeated in its final six games to qualify for the playoffs.

Kansas City, on the other hand, had little trouble advancing to the postseason, allowing a league-low 30 goals in 34 games to finish with the second-most points in the league, just one behind the New York Red Bulls for first place in the conference.

The Revolution certainly can attest to Kansas City's stingy defense.

New England hadn't scored in five previous meetings and 556 minutes before Dorman broke through in the 55th minute after a fortuitous bounce in favor of New England.

Diego Fagundez's cross from the right flank was saved by keeper Jimmy Nielsen, who hit the ground in an attempt to stop the ball from heading farther across the box. But Nielsen's kick instantly deflected off Revolution forward Juan Agudelo and trickled toward an open goal line, where Dorman easily tapped it in.

It didn't take long for New England to strike again.

In the 67th minute, Lee Nguyen dribbled through the defense before finding Rowe, who beat his defender to the ball just inside the box and stabbed at it with the outside of his right foot, sending it into the far left corner of the net for a 2-0 lead.

Collin cut the deficit in half two minutes later when he beat Revolution keeper Matt Reis.

Dominic Dwyer nearly knotted the score in stoppage time with a blast from inside the box, but Reis was perfectly positioned to make a game-saving stop.

NOTES: Reis finished the regular season without a loss in any of his 11 decisions (7-0-4), becoming the first in MLS history to go unbeaten in a season while playing at least 10 games. He also owned the league's lowest goals-against average at 0.72 in 995 minutes. ... Revolution D Jose Goncalves was one of seven players in the league to play every minute of every game (3,060 minutes) this season. ... This was the first postseason meeting between the two teams after previously playing 47 times during the regular season. ... Sporting KC owns the longest shutout streak in the league this season at 546 minutes. Sporting also went 412 minutes without conceding a goal this year, good enough for the fourth-longest run.
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