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U.S. Open Cup Semifinal: Revs 2, RailHawks 1 (2OT)
Pat Noonan scores the game-winner minutes into the start of overtime to send the Revs to the championship game against Dallas on Oct. 3.

NEW BRITAIN, Conn. – Behind Pat Noonan’s goal in the first overtime session, the New England Revolution advanced to the championship game of the 2007 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup with a 2-1 victory over the Carolina RailHawks in front of 4,203 at Veterans Stadium on Tuesday evening in the tournament’s semifinal round. Noonan factored in both Revolution goals, also assisting on Jeff Larentowicz’s game-tying goal in first-half stoppage time.

With the win, the Revs will play in just their second championship match of the Open Cup where they will take on FC Dallas, who defeated the Seattle Sounders, 2-1 in double overtime, later on Tuesday evening. The Revs will travel to face Dallas on Wednesday, Oct. 3 at 8 p.m. ET at Pizza Hut Park in a match that will be televised by Fox Soccer Channel.

After playing to a 1-1 deadlock after 90 minutes, Noonan sealed the win in the 93rd minute, blasting a 19-yard shot past Carolina goalkeeper Chris McClellan for the game-winning goal.

In an intensely physical match that featured a total of three ejections, 11 total cards and 37 fouls, the Revs prevailed over their United Soccer Leagues First Division opponent, which just began play this season.

Carolina quickly earned a 1-0 lead when Anthony Maher right-footed a side volley from 12 yards out, finding the only space between the right post and Revs goalkeeper Matt Reis. Jonny Steele flicked a pass to Maher from the penalty spot to set up the forward from Cape May, N.J.

Noonan had a chance to equalize in the 14th minute when he flicked a header off a lofted Khano Smith cross off the crossbar and out over the endline. The Revolution continued to control possession and dictate the tempo in the midfield for the rest of the first half, with Carolina looking to strike on the counter.

However, in the 39th minute, Revolution defender Avery John went in hard on Steele along the sideline and tensions spilled over for both teams. Nearly every player came together on the field, and referee Shane Moody showed both John and Caroline defender David Stokes yellow cards. On the ensuing free kick, the teams again began to push and shove along the edge of the area, and Moody immediately showed New England’s Shalrie Joseph and Carolina’s Connally Edozian straight red cards and both teams played the final minutes of the first half with 10 men.

The extra space allowed the Revs to open up its passing game, and near the end of first-half stoppage time, Jeff Larentowicz finally put the Revs on the board. He got on the end of a low Noonan cross and dove forward for the headed goal. Adam Cristman helped set up the goal, flicking the ball out to Noonan from near the edge of the penalty area.

After the first half, the Revs had a 7-2 advantage in shots, and carried that momentum into the second, but Carolina had the first chance in the 58th minute when Chad Dombrowski’s rocket from the top of the area was cleared off the line by Michael Parkhurst, and the rebound attempt was wide right.

Revs captain Steve Ralston gave Noonan a shot to give the Revs a 2-1 lead in the 61st minute, springing him in alone inside the penalty area with flicked on header. However, Noonan’s shot – for the second time on the night – kicked off the woodwork to keep the Revs from gaining the go-ahead goal.  Ralston then threaded Noonan through with another pass minutes later, but McClellan came out to punch the ball off Noonan’s feet, and Khano Smith’s rebound attempt was wide.

In the 80th minute, the Revs went up another man – playing 10 men to 9 – when Stokes was ejected for taking down Cristman from behind on a breakaway at the edge of the area. On the ensuing free kick, Ralston curled his shot toward the right post, and had the fans thinking he’d scored the go-ahead goal, but the ball found the side-netting, not the back of the goal to keep the game knotted at 1-1.

Neither team could net the game-winning goal in regulation, so the teams went into 30 minutes of extra time. Three minutes in – in the 93rd minute – Noonan final broke through for the go-ahead goal, rocketing a blast from 19 yards after Cristman laid the ball off for him just off the edge of the area. Sainey Nyassi, making his first Revolution appearance after signing on Friday, Aug. 31, set up the play, blazing down the right wing after a turnover in the midfield.

New England continued to keep possession of the ball, but Carolina had a few late chances and forced Reis to make a last-minute save in stoppage time.

The Revolution (12-5-6, 42 pts. in MLS action) return to the field on Sunday, Sept. 9, when they travel to face co-Eastern Conference leader D.C. United (13-6-3, 42 pts. with a game on Thursday) at RFK Stadium. Kickoff is set for 3 p.m. ET and Fox Sports New England will televise the game live.


Carolina RailHawks (7-11-8 USL-1) vs. New England Revolution (12-5-6 MLS)
September 4, 2007 – New Britain, Conn. (Veterans Stadium)


CAR – Anthony Maher (Jonny Steele) 6
NE – Jeff Larentowicz (Pat Noonan) 48+
NE – Pat Noonan (Adam Cristman) 93

CAROLINA RAILHAWKS: Chris McClellan, Caleb Norkus (Kevin Jeffrey 106), Frankie SanFilippo ©, David Stokes, Chad Dombrowski, Kupano Low, Stuart Brightwell (McColm Cephas 106), Jonny Steele, Philip Long (Joey Worthen 61), Connally Edozian, Anthony Maher (Joel Bailey 74)

Substitutes Not Used: John O’Hara, Matt Maher

NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION: Matt Reis, Avery John (Sainey Nyassi 91), Michael Parkhurst, James Riley, Khano Smith, Shalrie Joseph, Jeff Larentowicz, Steve Ralston, Andy Dorman, Adam Cristman, Pat Noonan (Chris Loftus 106)
Substitutes Not Used: Doug Warren, Amaechi Igwe, Gary Flood, Kyle Helton, Bryan Byrne

CAR – Anthony Maher (caution) 21
CAR – David Stokes (caution) 41
NE – Avery John (caution) 41
CAR – Connally Edozien (ejection) 42
NE – Shalrie Joseph (ejection) 42
CAR – Kupano Low (caution) 55
NE – Jeff Larentowicz (caution) 73
CAR – David Stokes (ejection) 80
NE – Adam Cristman (caution) 88
CAR – Joel Bailey (caution) 106
CAR – Chad Dombrowski (caution) 110

MATCH STATISTICS             CAR        NE
Shots                                      8            18
Shots on Goal                         2             7
Saves                                     5             2
Fouls                                     17           20
Corners                                  5             8
Offsides                                11            6            

Referee: Shane Moody
Referee’s Assistant (SAR): Claudio Badea
Referee’s Assistant (JAR): Victor Matheson
Fourth Official: Gus St. Silva

Weather: Clear and 78 degrees
Time of Game: 2:32
Attendance: 4,203