Smith's strike vaults Revs over Metros

particularly the introduction of Cancela -- paid almost immediate dividends.

Cancela's attacking abilities changed the pace and tone of the game, putting the Metros on the back foot. The Uruguayan converted the pressure into the Revs' first goal of the series in the 68th minute, driving a shot past Meola after Taylor Twellman headed the ball down for him near the top of the box.

Just five minutes later, Cancela set up another Revolution goal, leveling the series for the home team. Twice in the three minutes preceding the goal, the Revs failed to connect on slowly rolling crosses through the box. The Revs won a corner both times, and on the second occasion they converted, as Cancela sent his service to the far post for Noonan. Meola flailed at the ball as it sailed through the box, and Noonan nodded the ball just inside the far post.

The celebrations weren't over then for the Revolution, who completed their comeback seven minutes from time through Smith. The Bermudan raced down the left side past his defender and cut inside. As Meola slid out to stop him, Smith fired a shot that rippled the net inside the far post.

After the third goal, the Revs settled back to protect against the inevitable Metros fight back. In the 87th minute, Joseph played the hero by heading a Djorkaeff header off the line just as the Frenchman was throwing his arms in the air to celebrate. The Metros had several more chances to send the series to extra time, including three consecutive corners near the end of nine minutes of stoppage time after Smith was forced from the field injured -- leaving the Revolution to end the match a man down -- but their efforts all went for naught.

MLSnet.com Man of the Match: Jose Cancela (New England Revolution)

Jason Halpin is a contributor to MLSnet.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Soccer or its clubs.


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