When FC Dallas took on the New England Revolution on Saturday night it was supposed to be a mis-match. Even though they were visitors, FC Dallas were the heavy favorite, particularly against a New England side just three days removed from an embarrassing collapse that saw the Revs blow a 4-1 lead and settle for a 4-4 tie vs. Philadelphia.
Instead of rolling over against Dallas, New England stepped up and delivered one of the better games of a largely disappointing season. Shalrie Joseph and Rajko Lekic both scored to help give the Revs a 2-0 victory at Gillette Stadium.
The loss essentially dashed FC Dallas' slim chances of challenging the Los Angeles Galaxy for the Supporters Shield, but also helped Real Salt Lake move closer to passing Dallas for third place in the West.
The Revs opened the scoring in the 14th minute when a nifty backheel from Milton Caraglio gave Monsef Zerka enough space to pick out a vacant Shalrie Joseph in the box. Joseph then redirected the cross with a quick snap header to give the Revs the early 1-0 lead.
Milton Caraglio had numerous chances himself to get on the score sheet in the first half but ran out of luck on all occasions. His most notable chance came right before halftime when a poor backpass from Jair Benitez was intercepted by the DP striker. Caraglio beat Hartman but wasn't able to slot into the open net as the tight angle got the better of him.
Goalkeepers Kevin Hartman and Matt Reis both did exceptionally well to keep their teams in the running with fine saves early in the second half. FC Dallas came incredibly close in the 74th minute when Maicon Santos saw his effort palmed away by Reis. The visiting side was desperate to equalize but the Revolution goalkeeper was having none of it.
Ten minutes later, the New England Revolution struck again. Substitute Ryan Cochrane was able to flick back a cross from Benny Feilhaber and found an unmarked Rajko Lekic at the far post. The Danish striker did well to tuck it away with a quick left-footed shot to give the Revolution a 2-0 lead.
The Revolution will now travel to Portland on Sept. 16 to face the Timbers, while FC Dallas join in on the CONCACAF Champions League group stage action when they take on Tauro FC on Sept. 14.