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Referee gifts Columbus a win on the fifth anniversary of their stadium
COLUMBUS, OHIO. (5/15/04) - The New England Revolution (1-3-2) scored two goals against Columbus (1-3-2), but somehow managed to find themselves on the short end of a 1-0 loss to the previously winless Crew. After a late first half goal by Edson Buddle, Taylor Twellman and Steve Ralston both scored what could have been the equalizing goal, but both were called offsides by Michael Kennedy in two of his many questionable calls that night. The Crew, who were celebrating the 5th anniversery of Crew Stadium, got away with rough play all night with a slide-tackle from behind on Jose Cancela and many off-the-ball challenges on Clint Dempsey going uncarded. Dempsey, who had received a yellow card earlier for a soft foul on Kyle Martino was unable to retaliate, fearing a red card.

Matt Reis, who was filling in for goalkeeper Adin Brown (groin injury), was forced to make two kick saves early on to keep the Revs in the game. The Revs were missing regulars Carlos Llamosa (left knee sprain), Rusty Pierce (right quadriceps contusion) and Shalrie Joseph (suspension) from the back-line and Joe-Max Moore (right knee sprain) up front. The makeshift defense of Jay Heaps, Brian Kamler, Daouda Kante and Marshall Leonard allowed Columbus a great chance just two minutes in. Edson Buddle received a through ball and was just past the Revolution’s defense charging towards goal. Reis, however, was quick off his line and cut down Buddle’s angle. Buddle tried to shoot around Reis, but Reis was able to save the ball with his feet.

Jose Cancela was taken down from behind by Kyle Martino two minutes later. The Connecticut native, slid in from behind and completely missed the ball as he left Cancela on the ground for about half a minute. Kennedy awarded a foul, but refused to give a card for the reckless tackle that at the very least deserved a yellow card.

Jeff Cunningham managed to get through the Revolution defense in the 15th minute, but Matt Reis came off his line so quickly that before Cunningham even entered the box he was forced to shoot at an awkward angle and Reis once again saved it with his feet.

Frankie Hejduk exploited the right flank throughout the first half as the Crew’s five man midfield in their 3-5-2 formation dominated the Revs four man midfield in their 4-4-2 formation. It was Hejduk’s cross in the 41st minute that set up the game winning goal when it deflected off Jay Heaps on it’s way to Jeff Cunningham and instead ended up at Edson Buddle, who sent a shot past Reis and into the lower-left corner giving the Crew a 1-0 lead.

The Revs switched to a 3-5-2 formation in the second half to match the Crew and successfully took Hejduk out of the offense, while also creating more chances for themselves. Richie Baker came on for Daouda Kante and moved into the midfield. The new formation seemed to give the Revs the edge as once they got organized they began to dominate the possession and had the majority of the chances.

Taylor Twellman had a breakaway when he received a through ball from Pat Noonan in the 63rd minute. Twellman charged in on goal and scored with a hard low shot to the left corner of the net. Kennedy however ruled Twellman offside. Replays showed as the Crew moved forward to pull Twellman offside, Chad Marshall slipped and seemed to keep Twellman onside.

Three minutes later, Crew goalkeeper Jon Busch made two point blank saves on Taylor Twellman, but gave up a rebound both times. On the second rebound Twellman headed the ball to Steve Ralston, who easily shot the ball into the open net. Kennedy ruled Ralston offside as well. Ralston had a defender in front of him, but may have been past the goalkeeper and since there need to be two players in front of you when the pass is played, he was offside. Replays were not clear enough to tell what Ralston’s position in relationship to Busch was.

The Revs came close to equalizing a couple of times late in the match. Clint Dempsey saw a header from close range go just over the bar in the 78th minute. Taylor Twellman saw a shot go wide to the left of Busch’s goal three minutes later. With three minutes left in regulation, Busch was forced into one last save as Jose Cancela hit a low hard shot on target.

The Revs next face the Metrostars (2-1-3) on May 22nd at 5:00PM at Gillette Stadium. The game can been seen live on ESPN2.
May 18, 2004 Sean Donahue


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New England 0
Toronto 0

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DC United 0
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Houston 0
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New York 0
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Colorado 0
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Chicago 3
Columbus 1
New York 1
DC United 0
Kansas City 0
New England 0
Toronto 0

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Chivas USA 3
Colorado 3
Houston 1
Los Angeles 1
Salt Lake 1

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Cunningham 2
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Findley 1
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Pause 1