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New England Triumphs in Rain-Soaked Thriller
MLSnet.com , June 22nd, 2009 2:45PM

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The New England Revolution's 4-2 win over Santos Laguna in the SuperLiga Group B opener for both teams had a little bit of everything. Goals, saves, cards, tackles and pugilistic confrontations made the match a drama for the neutrals who braved the inclement Father's Day weather. But most of all, the game had rain. Lots and lots of rain.

The drenched turf of Gillette Stadium provided difficult conditions for both sides. "It might have favored us a little bit better," New England midfielder Pat Phelan said. "They like to slow it down a bit more. It worked against us on the second goal with both players slipping. Both teams have to play with it. It's not ideal."

Jeff Larentowicz gave New England a deserved lead heading into the break, but Santos responded with quick second-half goals by Matias Vuoso and Juan Pablo Rodriguez to seize the lead. The battered Revs - who lost Kevin Alston and Steve Ralston to hamstring injuries in the first half - could have folded up shop. Instead, they responded with goals by Kenny Mansally, Jay Heaps and Kheli Dube. The four goals matched the Revolution's highest offensive output of 2009 and did it without Taylor Twellman and Shalrie Joseph. New England coach Steve Nicol said the comeback displayed the type of character his team will need to defend its SuperLiga crown. "We've got plenty of heart and passion for the game," Nicol said. "I think you saw that tonight."

 

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