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Revolution advance to MLS Cup 2005 with win over Chicago
Foxboro, MA. – The New England Revolution defeated the Chicago Fire on Sunday to earn a trip to the 2005 MLS Cup Final. Clint Dempsey scored the game’s lone goal in the 4th minute and the Revs held on to win their second Eastern Conference Championship. The Revs will face off against the Los Angeles Galaxy in the final, a rematch of the only other time the Revs made the final in 2002.

The Revs took the lead just 4 minutes in when they caught Chicago off guard with a quick restart. The Revs received a free kick about 40 yards from goal and Daniel Hernandez took it quickly, sending it to an unmarked Shalrie Joseph in the goal box. Joseph sent a shot to the far post, that seemed like it might go wide, but Dempsey was there to slide it in for the game’s only goal.
"Three things happened,” said Fire Head Coach Dave Sarachan. “One is, when the foul was committed, we didn't get over the ball to stop the free kick. Secondly, Nate Jaqua's marked up with Shalrie [Joseph], but Nate's a forward and from where it happened, Nate couldn't get back. And third, we didn't have enough guys in the box that just said, 'Alright, I'll deal with Shalrie.' So we fell asleep, quite frankly."

The Revs put the pressure on the Fire for nearly the first 30 minutes of the match, but after that Chicago took control. Chicago had a chance to tie it in the 16th minute, when Nate Jaqua flicked the ball onto rookie Chris Rolfe in the box. Rolfe’s shot from a tight angle was easily saved by Matt Reis.

Jaqua was forced to leave the game in the 43rd minute with a concussion and was replaced by rookie Chad Barrett. The game was very physical from the outset with Chicago committing 28 fouls and the Revs committing 18. Five yellow cards and one red card were handed out in the match by referee Terry Vaughn, all to the Fire.

Chicago forced Reis into diving saves in the 63rd and 64th minutes when Barrett and Thiago, respectively, both put shots on target from about 18 yards out.

Steve Ralston was replaced by Jose Cancela in the 68th minute as Ralston was struggling with a hamstring injury picked up in training earlier in the week.

The Revs were content to stay tight in the back and let Chicago come at them for the final 10 minutes. Chicago kept the ball in the Revolution’s end and thought they had tied it in the second minute of stoppage time, when Gonzalo Segares got in behind Matt Reis and got on the end of a cross, and put it in the back of the net. As Segares ran to celebrate, the Fire saw the linesman with his flag up and the goal was ruled offside. Replays showed the call to be correct. Several Fire players ran over to argue the call and Andy Herron was ejected for “abusive language”, but it appeared he also threw a punch at the linesman as well.

"Semifinals are always tough,” said Revolution Head Coach Steve Nicol. “I think, basically, we started the game very well. For the first 35 minutes, we had the game in our hands. Then from that point on, it kind of went the other way and they had the upper hand. But you know, sometimes you win games by attacking and others you win by defending."

Up a man, the Revs easily held of the Fire for the rest of stoppage time and won their second Eastern Conference Championship. Before being awarded the trophy, however, the Fire players had to be separated from the Revolution as several of them pushed and shoved near midfield. The Revs next travel to Frisco, Texas to face the Los Angeles Galaxy in MLS Cup 2005 at Pizza Hut Park. The game can be seen live on ABC at 3:30PM on Sunday, November 13th.
November 11, 2005 Sean Donahue


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DC United 0
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