for this game

Revolution 2, United 1

May 31, 2009 - 3:11 AM By BRIAN O'CONNELL STATS MLS Correspondent

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (STATS) - Taylor Twellman returned to action for the first time in 2009, and Steve Ralston buried a last-minute penalty kick to lead the New England Revolution past D.C. United 2-1 on Saturday night, ending a six-match winless streak.

United (3-2-7) opened the scoring in the 36th minute when Fred scored his first goal of the season. New England answered in the second half when Shalrie Joseph collected his fourth tally of the season in the 55th minute, then proceeded with the clincher with Ralston's penalty kick in the 90th minute after Twellman was pulled down by United defender Bryan Namoff.

Amid vehement protests from D.C. coach Tom Soehn, referee Hilario Grajeda awarded New England a penalty kick for the infraction in the waning seconds of regulation. Ralston, the club's primary penalty taker, stepped up and pushed home the game-winner for the Revolution's first victory since April 4.

"It was huge win for us," said Ralston. "Tonight we fought back against a good team, and it feels good."

The season debut of Twellman, sidelined with a neck bruise since the start of the season, certainly provided the spark New England (3-3-4) had been missing all season and placed a pair of headers on goal shortly after his arrival in the 25th minute as a substitute. The 2005 MVP was given a hero's welcome by the home crowd after his entrance following an injury to teammate Jeff Larentowicz in the 18th minute.

"Obviously having your main striker back lifts everybody," said Revolution manager Steve Nicol. "It just helps you all around."

The Revolution certainly needed all the help they could get as United's Brazilian tandem of Luciano Emilio and Fred kept the Revolution defense busy throughout the first half.

After a series of near misses, including a pair of shots that scraped the crossbar, D.C. finally scored in the 36th minute when Fred took a short pass from Emilio and fired a quick 20-yard shot past Revolution goalkeeper Matt Reis.

Shortly after the start of the second half, the Revolution countered as Ralston streaked toward goal before deferring to Kenny Mansally on an overlapping run. The Ghanaian collected it near the touchline and delivered a low, arching cross to the far post, where Shalrie Joseph headed home the equalizer in 55th minute.

"The second half was clearly the best we've played all season," said Nicol. "We showed some heart and played some good soccer."

Amid a flurry of attacks from both clubs, it was simply a matter of time before one club capitalized on its chances.

United had a seven-match unbeaten streak snapped in suffering their first loss since a 2-1 loss to Real Salt Lake on April 11.