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Revs and Fire set for semifinal showdown
by Ridge Mahoney, June 30th, 2009 7:01AM



[SUPERLIGA] Frequent playoff opponents New England and Chicago are set for a SuperLiga semifinal meeting following the conclusion of group play last weekend. Kenny Mansally's goal Sunday at Gillette Stadium carried the Revs to a 1-0 win over Altas, which hit the woodwork twice in the second half but finished the tournament without a goal and with a record of 0-1-2.

Kheli Dube's dribble and pass at the edge of the penalty area set up the chance for Mansally, whose low shot took a deflection on its way into the net.

That result meant Kansas City (0-1-2) needed only a tie against Santos Laguna to reach the semifinals, but Santos (1-1-1) romped to a 3-1 victory to capture second place. Agustin Herrera broke open a goalless game in the 61st minute, Matias Vuoso added a second goal with a header from a cross by Osmar Mares, and after Claudio Lopez's swerving free kick cut the deficit in half with 10 minutes left, Juan Pablo Rodriguez added a Santos third in stoppage time.

As the winner of Group B, New England (2-0-1) hosts Chicago (2-1-0) in the semifinals at Gillette Stadium on July 15. The Fire lost its finale to UNL (Tigres), 2-1, Saturday at Toyota Park, and needed a penalty kick from Cuauhtemoc Blanco to avoid the two-goal defeat that would have eliminated it.

Armando Pulido scored twice for UNL for a 2-0 lead, but Patrick Nyarko drew the foul for the penalty kick that Blanco converted in the 85th minute. Both Chicago and UNL finished play in Group A with 2-1-0 records but the Fire held all tiebreaker advantages and so won Group A.

UNL, however, had to wait for the outcome of the second game Saturday at Home Depot Center to learn its fate.

A late goal by Atiba Harris forged a 1-1 tie for Chivas USA with San Luis and eliminated both teams from the semifinal round. That was the only point earned by Chivas USA (0-2-1) in three games; San Luis (1-1-1) would have advanced with a win.

Alfredo Moreno converted a penalty kick to give San Luis a 1-0 lead in the 53rd minute. Carey Talley nearly equalized a few minutes later but his shot hit the post, and Harris hit the side netting in the 83rd minute before nailing home Bojan Stepanovic's corner kick two minutes later. In stoppage time a Moreno goal that would have put San Luis through was waved off.

The second semifinal of a July 15 doubleheader at Gillette Stadium matches up Santos Laguna with UNL. The final will be played Aug. 5 at a location to be determined.


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