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Revolution remain unbeaten with win over FC Dallas

Apr 5, 2009 - 2:38 AM FOXBOROUGH, Massachusetts (AP) -- It was a tale of two halves for the New England Revolution. Against the wind during the first half, they had few possessions, few shots and no corner kicks.

But, with the wind during the second half, New England scored twice to take 2-1 decision from FC Dallas on Saturday night in the home opener at Gillette Stadium.

"In the second half, we didn't give balls away," said New England coach Steve Nicol. "We had to take care of the ball. We did a much better job of going forward."

The result was five shots on goal, five corner kicks and goals from Sainey Nyassi and Steve Ralston for New England (2-0-1)

With the wind gusting up to 25 mph and temperatures in the low 40's, ball possession was at a premium.

"It was difficult for both teams," said Dallas coach Schellas Hyndman. "New England is a team that has good ball possession. When we were going with the wind we were attacking. In the second half, we were against the wind and also trying to protect the lead."

Ralston came on to start the second half and scored on a penalty kick in the 80th minute.

Nyassi scored the tying goal for the Revolution in the second half, while Kenny Cooper scored in the first half for FC Dallas (0-3-0).

Ralston was awarded the penalty kick after New England's Kheli Dube was fouled inside the penalty box area by defender George John. Ralston then tallied his 70th MLS career goal, making goalkeeper Ray Burse commit before sending a right-footed shot into the lower right corner of the net.

"We started slow," Dube said of New England's inability to generate much of an attack. "We didn't seem to be able to go forward. In the second half, we played the ball more and passed the ball much better."

Nyassi, a 20-year-old midfielder, made a nifty run, turning John inside out and uncorking a 20-yard left-footed drive into the net, tying the score in the 56th minute.

Cooper one-touched a cross out of the left wing from Dave vandenBergh past New England's Brad Knighton in the 38th minute to give Dallas the lead.

As much as F.C. Dallas had better ball possession and attacking runs in the first half, New England energized itself during the second half.

"In the first half, every time, we turned it over," Nicol said. "The way we lost the ball, the lack of concentration, not taking care of the ball, that annoys me."

FC Dallas, winless in nine of its previous 10 matches, had numerous chances to score during the first half. VandenBergh, in particular, uncorked scorching shots at Knighton.

Cooper had a trio of chances too, all stopped by Knighton, who was making just his second career start. Cooper also had Dallas' best scoring chance of the second half, a right-footed drive after a Revolution miscue in the 72nd minute.

New England's attack was minimal, mostly due to injuries, which have sidelined 99-goal scorer Taylor Twellman (neck). The Revs also were without three other starters - goalkeeper Matt Reis (knee), defender Gabriel Badilla (back) and midfielder Mauricio Castro (hamstring).

Dallas, which hasn't won a match at New England since 2003, also had three first-half corner kicks.