Revs take early lead, settle for 2-2 tie

Revs take early lead, settle for 2-2 tie

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. Pat Phelan and Shalrie Joseph both scored their second goals of the season to stake the New England Revolution a 2-0 lead, but second-half goals from Steven Lenhart and Guillermo Barros Schelotto pulled the visitors level as the Revs and Columbus Crew battled to a 2-2 draw on Saturday night at Gillette Stadium.

It was the second straight game in which the Revs (7-14-5, 26 pts.) saw a two-goal lead slip away in the second half, as FC Dallas similarly erased a 2-0 deficit on Wednesday night at Pizza Hut Park en route to a 2-2 draw. The draw did keep the Revolution mathematically alive in the postseason race, while it also prevented Columbus (13-7-6, 45 pts.) from clinching a playoff spot until at least next weekend.

Phelan scored the Revolutions earliest goal of the season in the second minute to give the hosts an instant lead, while Joseph converted New Englands first penalty kick of 2010 in the 56th minute to make it 2-0. Lenhart bundled home a header in the 62nd minute to cut the deficit in half, however, and Schelotto slotted home a penalty kick in the 80th minute to provide the final score line.

There was one change to the Revolution side which took the field Wednesday night in Dallas, as Chris Tierney (L knee soreness) was a late scratch from the starting lineup, meaning Seth Sinovic took over at left back.

Joseph gave the Revs a fifth-minute lead in that midweek draw in Dallas, but Phelan one-upped the captain by putting the hosts ahead in the second minute on Saturday night. Marko Perovic was the provider, delivering a curling free kick from the left wing toward the near post. Phelan eluded his marker and cut across the box before sliding into an acrobatic finish with the outside of his right foot.

Columbus responded well and almost leveled the score in the seventh minute when Eddie Gaven burst into right side of the box, but the Crew midfielder dragged his shot wide of the left post. Gaven was involved again 10 minutes later when he delivered a left-wing cross for Lenhart, but the powerful forwards first-time shot was straight at Revolution goalkeeper Matt Reis.

Kenny Mansally had a pair of half-chances at the other end of the field in the 30th and 31st minutes as the Revs began to work themselves back into the game, but both of his long-distance shots bounced wide without troubling Crew goalkeeper William Hesmer.
The Crew went close again in the 41st minute when Phelan accidentally sent a glancing header toward his own goal from Schelottos free kick, but Reis was alert and made a fantastic leaping save to tip the ball over the bar and maintain the Revolutions 1-0 advantage into the halftime break.

It didnt take long for New England to double its lead after the interval, as Joseph buried the Revolutions first penalty kick of the season to make it 2-0 in the 56th minute. Ilija Stolica drew the foul when he was chopped down by Andy Iro following a scramble in the box, and Joseph made no mistake from the spot as he drilled his effort into the upper left corner.

Columbus responded to cut the deficit in half just six minutes later, however, when Lenhart and Cory Gibbs challenged for Shaun Francis bouncing left-wing cross at the near post. Lenhart provided the decisive touch with an opportunistic header as the ball beat Reis inside the near post.

Schelotto then made it 2-2 in the 80th minute with his team-leading eighth goal of the season, converting from the spot after Joseph was adjudged to have handled the ball in the box. The Argentine stepped up and drilled his effort into the right side of the net as Reis dove the wrong way.

After knotting the score, the Crew fell into a defensive shell in hopes of securing a valuable point on the road. When Perovics long-distance free kick in the 89th minute sailed harmlessly over the bar, the visitors did just that as they left Gillette Stadium with at least one point for the fifth straight time.

The Revs will return to action on Saturday, Oct. 2, when theyll host defending MLS Cup champion Real Salt Lake. Kickoff from Gillette Stadium is set for 7:30 p.m.

NOTES:
The draw between New England and Columbus moves the Revolutions all-time record against the Crew to 16-29-10 it was the first tie between the two clubs since an 3-3 draw at Gillette Stadium on June 17, 2007.
The Revolution has settled for a 2-2 draw after holding a 2-0 lead in consecutive matches.
Pat Phelans second-minute goal off a direct kick from Marko Perovic was the Revolutions fastest tally of the season it beat New Englands previous mark by three minutes, in Dallas on Wednesday.
For Phelan, it was his second goal of the season and his career he scored his first goal against D.C. on Aug. 7, also on a free kick.
Marko Perovic picked up his second assist of 2010 on the second-minute tally from a set piece.
Shalrie Joseph scored the Revs first penalty kick goal of the season in the 56th minute of the 26th match of the season it was also New Englands first penalty kick attempt of the year.
Josephs two goals this season have now come in consecutive games.
The second-minute goal from Phelan was New Englands fourth goal of the year from a free kick.
Chris Tierney was a late scratch at left back with left knee soreness Tierney missed only his third game of the year and was replaced by Seth Sinovic.
When Khano Smith came on for Ilija Stolica in the 70th minute, Kenny Mansally shifted from left midfield up to forward, while Smith took Mansallys spot.
Zack Schilawski came on for Seth Sinovic in the 87th minute, New England shifted into a 3-5-2 the back line consisted of Gibbs, Barnes and Osei, with Smith, Phelan, Joseph, Schilawski and Mansally in the midfield, with Perovic and Mansally up top.
The Revolution has played to a draw in consecutive matches for the first time all season.

Lionel Messi says he is quitting Argentina national team

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Lionel Messi says he is quitting Argentina national team

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Lionel Messi says he is quitting Argentina's national team.

Argentina and Messi lost a final for the third year in a row, with Chile winning the Copa America 4-2 on penalty kicks following a 0-0 tie Sunday night.

His nation's career scoring leader with 55 international goals, Messi sent Argentina's first penalty kick over the crossbar.

Messi tells the Argentine network TyC Sports "the national team is over for me. It's been four finals, it's not meant for me. I tried. It was the thing I wanted the most, but I couldn't get it, so I think it's over."

Messi and Argentina lost to Brazil in the 2007 Copa final and to Germany in extra time in the 2014 World Cup final. They lost last year's Copa final to host Chile on penalty kicks.

The 29-year-old Messi has led Barcelona to four Champions League titles.

Chile wins 2nd straight Copa America title as Messi misses

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Chile wins 2nd straight Copa America title as Messi misses

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Lionel Messi still awaits his first title with Argentina's national team.

Messi put his penalty kick over the crossbar, Francisco Silva converted Chile's shootout finale and La Roja won their second straight Copa America title by beating Argentina 4-2 on penalty kicks following a 0-0 tie Sunday night.

Playing two days after his 29th birthday, Messi lost a final for the third year in a row following an extra-time defeat to Germany in the 2014 World Cup and a penalty-kicks loss to host Chile in last year's Copa America. The five-time FIFA Player of the Year has won four Champions League titles and eight La Liga crowns with Barcelona, but has never taken a trophy with Argentina's senior team.

For its 100th anniversary, South America's championship was expanded to 16 nations and played in the United States, and Argentina was hoping to win its first major title since 1993.

In an ill-tempered match that included an ejection on each side and eight yellow cards, the match was scoreless through regulation and 30 minutes of extra time, with Argentina's Gonzalo Higuain missing a clear goal-scoring opportunity for the third straight final. Argentina outshot Chile 16-4 and La Roja collapsed three, four and even five defenders around the bearded Messi, then chopped down the diminutive attacker when he tried to accelerate toward the goal.

Messi, who scored five goals in the tournament, had a free kick 28 yards out in the 115th minute after Francisco SIlva fouled him, but the ball deflected off the wall and over the crossbar. Messi's 35-yard free kick was headed on target by Aguero in the 10th minute of extra time, and Chile goalkeeper Claudio Bravo jumped extended his right hand to tip the ball over the crossbar.

Argentina goalkeeper Sergio Romero saved the opening kick by Arturo Vidal, and up stepped Messi, the best player of his generation and considered alongside Brazil's Pele and Argentina's Diego Maradona as the sport's greatest ever. While he won the titles at the under-20 and Olympic (under-23) levels for Argentina, in the minds of many he needs a title with his nation's senior team to solidify his place as one of the greats.

Messi sent his shot over Bravo — his Barcelona teammate — and into the stands. Messi turned, bowed his head and clenched both fists in frustration.

Nicolas Castillo and Charles Aranguiz converted their kicks for Chile, and Javier Mascherano and Sergio Aguero made theirs, leaving the teams tied 2-2 after three rounds.

Jean Beausejour put Chile ahead, and Bravo dived to his right, saving Lucas Biglia's shot and bringing up Silva, a 30-year-old midfielder. Messi briefly pulled his jersey of his face, as if not wanting to watch.

Romero dived to his left and the shot went in to his right, giving Chile another title.

Messi crouched over, as if in pain, then got up, took off his captain's armband and walked to the bench, where he was consoled by Angel Di Maria. After Messi came back on the field, Aguero put a hand on one of Messi's shoulders. And new FIFA President Gianni Infantino gave Messi a pat on the back when Messi came onto the podium with his teammates for his second-place medal. Messi almost immediately took it off.

It was the fourth final loss for Messi, who also played for Argentina in its penalty-kicks loss to Brazil in the 2004 final.

A crowd of 82,076 at MetLife Stadium — the largest to see a soccer game in New Jersey — raised the tournament total to just under 1.48 million. The average of 46,119, nearly double the 25,223 in Chile last year, will be used by the U.S. Soccer Federation as evidence it deserves to host a World Cup again, likely as part of a bid for the 2026 tournament.

Brazilian referee Heber Lopes became the focus in the first half, ejecting a pair of defenders: Chile's Marcelo Diaz in the 28th minute and Argentina's Marcos Rojo in the 43rd. After issuing six yellow cards during a World Cup qualifier between the nations in March, Lopes handed out eight yellows, including one to Messi for diving in the 40th minute, and the two reds.

Diaz got his first yellow for hacking down Messi about 28 yards out in the 16th minute, then got his second for obstructing a charging Messi about 30 yards out. Rojo received a straight red when he slid into Arturo Vidal from behind and poked away the ball, but Vidal's leg bent awkwardly under his body as he fell.

Higuain had the best first-half chance in the 21st minute when he picked up a giveaway from Gary Medel, dribbled in and chipped the ball over Bravo only to have it roll wide of the far post. It was almost the exact time he broke in alone during the World Cup final against Germany and also shot wide. Higuain also missed a tap-in of Ezequiel Lavezzi's cross during the final minute of regulation in last year's final, then sent his penalty kick during the shootout over the crossbar.

Revolution shut out by D.C. United, 2-0

Revolution shut out by D.C. United, 2-0

WASHINGTON -- Lamar Neagle had a goal and an assist to give D.C. United an early lead that stood up in a 2-0 victory over the New England Revolution on Saturday night.

D.C., after being shut out in its two previous games and four of six, opened the scoring in the 20th minute when Luciano Acosta chipped a perfect pass over the defense to the foot of Neagle, who volleyed it in from 10 yards out.

Sean Franklin scored the second goal, his first of the season, when he knocked in Neagle's cross. Albaro Saborio sent a long ball down the right sideline that Neagle ran down and crossed to Franklin for the easy counter.

D.C. (5-6-5) leapfrogged the Revolution (4-5-7) into fifth in the Eastern Conference with its fourth shutout in the last seven games and improved to 2-0-1 in the series this season.