for this game

Revolution tip Red Bulls on own goal

Aug 26, 2007 - 5:35 AM FOXBORO, Massachusetts (Ticker) - The New England Revolution can thank a critical mistake by the New York Red Bulls for keeping their lead atop the Eastern Conference.

New York's Carlos Mendes, who entered the game as a reserve just four minutes earlier, scored into his own goal in the 80th minute, providing the difference in the Revolution's 2-1 victory Saturday night at Gillette Stadium.

Taylor Twellman scored in the opening minute of the second half after missing several opportunities in the first half, helping the Revolution draw even and setting the stage for the dramatic finish.

"Obviously, it's unfortunate for them, but we feel like we deserve three points anyway," Revolution defender Michael Parkhurst said. "We came out going after them and that was our mentality. We wanted nothing less than three points and we were going to push the limit to try and get it.

"We were fortunate it happened that way. I wouldn't say we were lucky but it's definitely unlucky on their part."

Mendes attempted to reset the play to Jon Conway but the kick from 35 yards out eluded the Red Bulls' keeper, sliding into the left corner of the net.

"Obviously, something went wrong somewhere," Mendes said. "It's pretty far out and I saw Jon play the back pass and I'm not sure what happened, if he took his eye off of it or if he was moving one way and the ball went another. It's one of those plays where I didn't really even see it. I step to go up the field and the next thing I know it's in the net."

The win moved the Revolution (12-5-6, 42 points) nine points ahead of third-place New York (10-9-3, 33) and assured them of keeping sole possession of first place in the Eastern Conference ahead of D.C. United.

In the first MLS game at Gillette since David Beckham and the Los Angeles Galaxy drew over 35,000 on August 12, a spirited crowd of 16,017 looked on as each team had golden opportunities to break through in the first 20 minutes.

In the 14th minute, New York captain Claudio Reyna took a crisp feed from Clint Mathis and broke through up the middle against the New England defense but goalkeeper Matt Reis came up big with a sprawling save.

Four minutes later, New England had an even better chance with a penalty kick when New York's Seth Stammler held the jersey of Adam Cristman in the penalty box.

But Conway was up to the challenge, reading Shalrie Joseph's initial move. Joseph tried to hook the ball inside the left post but pulled his attempt too wide and the game remained scoreless.

"That's my mistake," Joseph said. "I should have converted. Adam did well to earn the penalty and it's my fault that I didn't score it."

The Red Bulls finally broke through in the 30th minute when Jozy Altidore took a feed from Juan Pablo Angel and, in stride, beat Reis with a right-foot strike for a 1-0 advantage.

An offensive surge allowed the Revolution to apply pressure in the final 15 minutes of the first half but two point-blank chances from Twellman and one from Jeff Larentowicz all missed the target.

"From when they scored, we really kind of took it to them," Revolution coach Steve Nicol said. "It took us that long to kind of get any rhythm going at all. We just wanted to play the second half the way we play the last 15 (of the first half). The effort was there, there was no fluency, but the effort was there and we got the three points and that's what they put on the board."

Twellman wasted little time in the second half making up for lost opportunities in the opening 45 minutes. The Revolution's leading scorer controlled a clear from Reis and charged in on Conway, beating the New York keeper for his 11th goal in the 46th minute, knotting the game at 1-1.

"That was big," Parkhurst said. "You always want to come out of the locker room on high note. To get that goal a minute into the second half, that's the perfect start for the second half because they're on their heels and we're pushing now to get the winner."

"I've seen some of those plays before," a frustrated Red Bulls head coach Bruce Arena said. "Guys have just got to do a better job of recognizing those kind of plays and react better. These are things we've gone over probably a hundred times since I've been here and it is what it is."

In the 61st minute, Angel had a chance to give New York the lead again but Reis went down to stop an in-close chance.

"Certainly, I think we can accept the responsibility for this loss," Arena said. "We made some big blunders, that was the difference in the game."