Revs beat Chicago in MLS playoffs

Here are the highlights.

What a game. Revolution started out a goal behind due to the 1-0 first leg defeat in Chicago. They were also missing Shalrie Joseph (BS suspension) and Clint Dempsey (sprained ankle). They then dug themselves a bigger hole by letting Nate Jaqua slip in and score in the 18th minute to make it 2-0 for Chicago in the aggregate goals.

Jose Manuel Abundis was taken down by Dasan Robinson in the penalty box (Robinson fell down and grabbed Abundis' ankle with his hand, no call), and Twellman missed a sitter but made up for it by scoring in the 41th off a cross from Joey Franchino, who burned Jaqua, got to the byline (who the hell thought Franchino could burn anyone and get to the byline) and slipped a ball to Twellman who knocked it in.

Halftime, Abundis came off an Noonan came on to replace him. Pat Noonan had hernia surgery two weeks ago. Fifteen minutes into the half, Jay Heaps sent in a long cross, Twellman nodded it down, Dorman laid it off for Franchino who hit it first time, Chris Armas blocked it and Pat Noonan slotted in the rebound.

There were chances for the rest of the game for both teams, but both goalkeepers, Matt Reis for the Revs and Matt Pickens for Chicago, were on their game. Larentowicz was subbed off for Khano Smith's speed, Ralston was injured and was subbed off for Cancela, then Dorman and Franchino also both got injured, but the Revs were out of subs so they hobbled around gamely. Twellman then moved back to defensive midfield to give them cover. The Revs pride themselves on character and this game showed why.

In extra time, both teams were too exhausted to do anything. Khano Smith and Pepe Cancela had a couple chances but Pickens came up with great saves. On to penalty kicks!
Matt Reis saved two out of three penalty kicks he faced this year. The third one was I believe against the Crew, where the ball took a skip on the turf and bounced over Reis' hand - otherwise it would have been 3-3. In the 2004 playoffs, Reis saved two penalties in a single game. Advantage, Revs.

Reis saved Thiago's opening PK. Then, Cancela buried his penalty. When Cancela didn't chip his penalty to the keeper's left like he has every single other penalty I've seen him take, I knew the Revs had practiced this and would win it.

Reis then saved Ivan Guerrero's (of "Shalrie Joseph tried to keeeel me!" fame) penalty. Reis turns around to the Fort, raises his arms, then turns around to Guerrero and says "REPORT THAT."

Joey Franchino is hardly my favorite player on the team but his heart and character really shown through last night. He showed why Nicol made him club captain. He sums it up:

There was kind of a sense that we knew we would do it. I don’t know how to explain it but everyone knew it. We just kept going and going and we knew it was going to come. Even when we hit the post, we never let down. That’s the way this team is: never say die.

And Stevie Nicol:

“I’ve been saying all along the players got balls, and they showed them tonight."
After the game, Jay Heaps and some other Revs players tore down a banner that had been hanging on the stadium and ran around the field with it. It said "FREE SHALRIE."

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