The MetroStars erased an early 2-0 deficit to defeat the New England Revolution, 3-2, Saturday night at Giants Stadium. Second-half substitute Cornell Glenn scored on a 69th minute counterattack to snap a 2-2 tie, pulling the home side back to within a point of first place in the East while leaving the Revolution's season on the brink of disaster.
The win was the MetroStars' first against New England in 11 matches. The Metros' last win against the Revolution came in 2002.
The MetroStars came out firing in the first half yet still found themselves down a pair of goals before 15 minutes had been played. They took the first chance of the match just 27 seconds in when Eddie Gaven attacked on the right side and took a close-quarters shot that New England goalkeeper Matt Reis deflected off the side of the goal.
The Revolution then scored against the run of play, winning a free kick in the fifth minute through their first significant foray into the attacking third.
Steve Ralston stepped into the free kick from 26 yards out and drove it into the box where Pat Noonan flicked a perfect header into the upper left corner to squash a month-long, goal-scoring drought. The MetroStars argued that Ralston took the kick too soon, and after the entire side gathered to hear referee Abiodum Okulaja's explanation, play resumed with the Revs leading 1-0.
In the 14th minute, the Revolution again scored against the run of play following an offside flag against the MetroStars. From his own penalty area, Reis sent a long, lofting ball to Noonan, where it was flicked it back to Ralston, then forward to the right edge of the penalty area.
Taylor Twellman and goalkeeper Johnny Walker raced for the bouncing ball with Twellman arriving first and heading it over the Metros 'keeper before a direct collision left both men on the ground. Several Metros defenders sprinted to beat the ball to the goal line, but their efforts were in vain and the Revolution enjoyed a 2-0 lead.
The next quarter hour saw Reis leave his mark on the game, turning away numerous MetroStars chances. In the 19th minute he dove quickly to his left to make a save after Eddie Pope's header was deflected in the six-yard box. In the 29th minute he raced out to grab a through ball earmarked for a wide-open Fabian Taylor.
In the 30th minute, Ricardo Clark put a through-ball to the feet of Gaven, who was taken down for a penalty kick by a beaten Joe Franchino. With regular spot-kicker Amado Guevara serving a red-card suspension, Mike Magee took his first penalty of the season and got the Metros on the board with a well-hit ball into the upper right corner of the goal.
The MetroStars then saw a pair of golden opportunities to level the score squashed by Reis and his mates. A rare venture forward by Jeff Parke in the 35th minute produced a header marked for the far post until Reis dove to his right to deflect it out of danger. A minute later Pope's header off a Magee corner beat Reis, but a well-positioned Noonan cleared it off the goal line.
Not content to go to the break trailing, the MetroStars pushed on and took their second goal on an opportunistic play inside the Revs area. Magee's chip into the box was mishandled by Taylor, but Gaven was in the right place at the right time and blasted home the tying goal to send the match to halftime at 2-2.
The Revolution spent a majority of the second half in the MetroStars section of the field, but were unable to break the tie. Their first and best chance of the half came in the 52nd minute when Ralston's corner found Noonan on the far edge of the six. Walker took one for the team, using his strong positioning to allow the hard shot to hit him directly in the sternum. Walker was slow to regain his wind, but play was never stopped.
In the 59th minute, the Revs put Noonan through on a quick re-start and Walker's presence was just enough to cause Noonan to shoot a dribbler off the left post.
Still being attacked mercilessly by the Revs, the MetroStars found an opening through a counterattack in the 69th minute. Playing near midfield, Wolyniec took a pass from Pablo Brenes and sent a long ball ahead to Glen. Glen ran through the stretched out Revolution defense while Reis backed up after thinking better of his initial reaction to leave his line to challenge the play. Glen had little trouble beating an off-balance Reis for the game's deciding goal.
The Revs continued to own the possession, but created no further significant chances. They had seven minutes of stoppage time to work with due to separate delays when Clint Dempsey kicked Wolyniec after an attempted tackle, and when Tenywa Bonseu inadvertently stunned Okulaja with a ball off his head.
The MetroStars (10-9-6, 33 points) snapped a four-game winless streak and are back within a point of Columbus ahead of their showdown at Crew Stadium (7:30 p.m. ET) next Saturday night. The Revolution (5-11-9, 24 points) extended their winless streak to five, and with D.C. United's win early Saturday, the Revs find themselves five points out of the final playoff position with only five regular season matches remaining. The Revs host Colorado (7:30 p.m. ET) next Saturday.
MLSnet.com Man of the Match: Mike Magee (MetroStars)
New England Revolution (5-10-9) vs. MetroStars (9-9-6)
September 11, 2004 -- Giants Stadium
NE -- Pat Noonan 9 (Steve Ralston 6) 5
NE -- Taylor Twellman 6 (Steve Ralston 7, Pat Noonan 7) 14
MET -- Mike Magee 3 (penalty kick) 31
MET -- Eddie Gaven 6 (Fabian Taylor 1, Chris Leitch 2) 48+
MET -- Cornell Glen 5 (Pablo Brenes 1, John Wolyniec 3) 68
New England Revolution -- Matt Reis, Rusty Pierce, Steve Ralston, Jay Heaps, Steve Howey (Andy Dorman 76), Clint Dempsey, Joe Franchino (Avery John 37), Shalrie Joseph, Brian Kamler (Felix Brillant 69), Pat Noonan, Taylor Twellman.
Substitutes Not Used: Jose Cancela, Doug Warren.
TOTAL SHOTS: 11 (Pat Noonan 5); SHOTS ON GOAL: 5 (Pat Noonan 3); FOULS: 13 (Rusty Pierce 3); OFFSIDES: 4 (Pat Noonan 2, Taylor Twellman 2); CORNER KICKS: 5 (Steve Ralston 5); SAVES: 6 (Matt Reis 5)
MetroStars -- Jonny Walker, Tenywa Bonseu, Jeff Parke, Eddie Pope, Mike Magee, Ricardo Clark, Eddie Gaven, Pablo Brenes, Chris Leitch, John Wolyniec, Fabian Taylor (Cornell Glen 63).
Substitutes Not Used: Kenny Arena, Sergio Galvan Rey, Tim Regan, Seth Stammler, Zach Wells, Craig Ziadie.
TOTAL SHOTS: 13 (Eddie Gaven 3); SHOTS ON GOAL: 9 (Eddie Gaven 2, Eddie Pope 2); FOULS: 14 (Ricardo Clark 4); OFFSIDES: 4 (Pablo Brenes 2); CORNER KICKS: 7 (Mike Magee 7); SAVES: 3 (Jonny Walker 3)
NE -- Avery John (caution; Dissent) 39
MET -- Jeff Parke (caution; Deliberate Handball) 45
NE -- Clint Dempsey (caution; Dissent) 71
MET -- Ricardo Clark (caution; Pushing, Holding) 87
Referee: Abiodun Okulaja
Referee's Assistants: -Nathan Clement; Fabio Tovar
4th Official: Ken Heller
Weather: Partly Cloudy-and-72-degrees
All statistics contained in this boxscore are unofficial.