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Revs, Fire win openers [VIDEO]
June 22nd, 2009 7AM

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[SUPERLIGA] MLS teams managed two wins and a tie in the four SuperLiga matches played last weekend to kick off the third annual matchup of American and Mexican club teams. Defending champion New England rallied to down Santos Laguna, 4-2, and a goal by Mexican international Brian McBride enabled Chicago to beat San Luis, 1-0. Kansas City played out a scoreless tie with Atlas, and UNL (Tigres) beat Chivas USA, 2-1, thanks to a spectacular bicycle-kick goal by Armando Pulido.

VIDEO of Pulido's goal.

REVS ROLL. The Revs began defense of their SuperLiga title in a drenched Gillette Stadium, and after they conceded twice to cancel out a Jeff Larentowicz goal, they scored three more through Kenny Mansally, Jay Heaps and Kheli Dube to reprise a 1-0 defeat of Santos in group play last year.

Larentowicz ran onto a ball laid into his path by Kevin Alston and drilled home a low shot in the 38th minute., A few minutes later, Steve Ralston, who had passed a late fitness test, tweaked his hamstring and had to come out.

Sharp and hungry for the start of the second half, Santos took control of the match in the early going. Defenders Darrius Barnes and Emmanuel Osei failed to clear a ball and Matias Vuoso fired his shot past keeper Matt Reis. Vuoso set up a goal four minutes later, slipping a ball that Juan Pablo Rodriguez curled past Reis and inside the far post.

New England fought right back with two goals of its own in three minutes. Sainey Nyassi tapped home rebound of a soft shot by Dube, and Heaps pounced on the deflection of a Dube shot to restore the Revs' one-goal lead, which Reis preserved a few minutes later with a fine save on Daniel Luduena.
Dube finally got one of his shots in the net directly when he collected a Mansally free kick at the far post and scored with eight minutes left.

In contrast to the rain-lashed Revs and Tigres, the Wizards and Atlas labored in 93-degree temperatures at Robert H. Hermann Stadium on the campus of St. Louis University. There were more ejections than goals; midfielder Roger Espinoza was sent off in the 94th minute for a hard foul, and Atlas coach Ricardo La Volpe watched the end of the first half and all of the second from behind a fence following his dismissal in the 41st minute for arguing with the officials.

Group B resumes Wednesday at Gillette Stadium with a New England-Kansas City and Santos Laguna-Atlas doubleheader.

GROUP A. Both goalkeepers in the Chicago-San Luis match Saturday at Toyota Park were called into action often before and after Brian McBride scored the only goal in the 69th minute.

San Luis goalkeeper Adrian Martinez tipped away a header by Tim Ward early in the second half and also knocked away a free kick blasted on goal by Cuauhtemoc Blanco. At the other end, Jon Busch saved well after Victor Lojeno had broken free, and thwarted Jesus Palacios from close range.

To set up the goal, Blanco peeled away from San Luis and U.S. defender Michael Orozco and rolled a ball back to McBride, who slammed it into the top corner.
Orozco cleared a goal-bound shot by Marco Pappa in the 74th minute to keep San Luis within a goal, which it nearly produced in the final minutes. Marvin de la Cruz shot on frame but Busch saved yet again.

Tigres UNL scored early and late and had to fend off a desperate, 10-man Chivas USA rally to win, 2-1, at Home Depot Center. Rookie Michael Lahoud equalized 10 minutes into the second half but a spectacular bicycle kick by Armando Pulido and late winner from Jesus Dueñas captured the victory for Tigres.

Americo Rodriguez flicked a ball into the goalmouth that Pulido touched once and then lashed high into the net for a 1-0 lead that UNL took into the locker room at halftime, which is when Michael Lahoud and Jorge Flores replaced Jesse Marsch and Sasha Victorine. They buzzed UNL from the flanks to set up the tying goal.

In the 55th minute Flores' backheel released Eduardo Lillingston to play a ball to Bojan Stepanovic, and Lahoud ran onto his low ball through the penalty area to score. UNL pushed back and forced a series of fouls and cautions in quick succession: Stepanovic, Lillingston, and Paulo Nagamura were cautioned in a seven-minute span; Lillingston's was his second.

Dueñas scored the winner in the 81st minute, after Pulido stole the ball from Mariano Trujillo. Zach Thornton saved his low shot but Dueñas knocked in the rebound.

At Toyota Park on Tuesday, the Fire hosts Chivas USA, and UNL plays San Luis.

 



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