MAJOR LEAGUE SOCCER

RFK Stadium, Washington, D.C., United States

* Local time based on your geographic location.

DC United

  • Alecko Eskandarian 11'
  • Jaime Moreno 21'
  • Christian Gomez 67'

(4) 3 - 3 (3)

FT-Pens

New England

  • Taylor Twellman 17'
  • Steve Ralston 44' PEN
  • Pat Noonan 85'

Rimando save sends D.C. to title game

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Nick Rimando usually has to run the length of

the field to celebrate a game-winner. This time, the happy mob came

to him.

Goalkeeper Rimando stopped Clint Dempsey's shootout kick, and

D.C. United rode Brian Carroll's successful boot moments earlier to

a 4-3 victory Saturday night over the New England Revolution and

advanced to the MLS Cup.

It was the first Major League Soccer game ever decided by

penalty kicks.

``The goal-scorers usually get the good celebration - the run

and jump and all,'' Rimando said. ``It was fun for me to do that.''

Eastern Conference champion United will play Western Conference

winner Kansas City for the title on Nov. 14 in Carson, Calif.

``They made me proud again,'' coach Peter Nowak said.

``Everybody was (losing) their legs - it was 120 minutes, a hard

game for both sides.''

The teams were tied at 3 after 90 minutes of regulation and two

15-minute sudden-death overtimes, forcing the game to alternating

penalty kicks.

The teams were tied at three kicks apiece after five shooters.

Carroll, United's sixth shooter, drove a shot high and to the left,

out of the reach of Revolution goalkeeper Matt Reis.

Rimando then saved Dempsey's try to preserve the win and give

United the conference championship. That sent an RFK Stadium crowd

of 21,101 into a frenzy.

Rimando had an inkling that Dempsey would try to score inside

the right post.

``He kind of showed me where he was going,'' Rimando said. ``His

body language before the shot, his position told me.''

United returns to the championship game for the first time since

1999. United won the MLS title in 1996, 1998 and 1999.

New England, which reached the conference title game despite

finishing tied for the worst regular season record, saw its magical

ride end one game short of a chance for an improbable MLS crown.

Despite the absence of two key United defenders -- Dema Kovalenko

and Ryan Nelsen missed the game due to suspensions for accumulating

too many yellow cards -- the Revolution couldn't combat United's

speed and playmaking.

``They get guys running through,'' New England coach Steve Nicol

said. ``Guys running are very hard to handle. When a team does

something well, it's not easy to stop.''

Alecko Eskandarian, Jaime Moreno and Christian Gomez scored

regulation-time goals for United.

Taylor Twellman, Steve Ralston and Pat Noonan netted for New

England.

United grabbed a 1-0 lead on a left-side cross by Eskandarian in

the 11th minute.

Twellman scored in the 17th minute, getting a step on defender

Ezra Hendrickson 10 yards from the goal and looping a right-footed

shot past Rimando.

United regained the lead about four minutes later when Moreno,

working from a step inside the penalty area on the left wing, cut

an arcing shot inside the right post before Reis could react.

A handball call against Carroll at the left edge of the penalty

area set up Ralston's penalty kick, which tied the game in the 44th

minute. Ralston drove a shot that ricocheted off the left post, off

Rimando and in.

Gomez, making a run down the left wing, headed in Earnie

Stewart's cross from the right wing in the 67th minute for a 3-2

United lead. Freddie Adu replaced Gomez two minutes later.

But Noonan tied it in the 85th minute, heading in a corner kick

from Ralston after outleaping Rimando.

Also scoring in the shootout for United were Santino Quaranta,

Adu and Eskandarian. For New England, it was Reis, Shalrie Joseph

and Twellman.

Scoring Summary

  • DC United
  • New England
(17') Taylor Twellman
(pen 44') Steve Ralston
(85') Pat Noonan

Match Stats

  • DC United
  • New England
0(0) Shots (on goal) 0(0)
0 Fouls 0
0 Corner kicks 0
0 Offsides 0
0% Time of Possession 0%
0 Yellow Cards 0
0 Red Cards 0
0 Saves 0

Teams

  • DC United
  • New England
Substitutes
Substitutions
Yellow Cards