for this game

Revolution, Red Bulls open postseason with scoreless draw

Oct 28, 2007 - 4:32 AM EAST RUTHERFORD, New Jersey (Ticker) -- The New England Revolution and New York Red Bulls played to a hard-fought 0-0 tie in the first leg of the MLS Eastern Conference semifinals Saturday at Giants Stadium.

Both teams had several scoring chances but the Red Bulls came closer to putting the ball into the net.

New York forward Francis Doe rocketed a shot from outside the box in the fifth minute that was stopped by Revolution goalkeeper Matt Reis.

On the other end of the field, forward and renowned Red Bulls killer Taylor Twellman was contained by the New York defense and allowed goalkeeper Jon Conway to have a pretty easy game, one without a major threatening shot on net.

The Red Bulls outshot the Revolution, 13-8, and held a 5-to-3 advantage in shots on goal. Juan Pablo Angel, who is the Red Bulls' leading scorer with 19 goals in his first MLS season after coming over from Aston Villa in the English Premiere League, was kept in check by the Revolution defense and only had two solid shots on net.

"We just have to do a better on finishing the chances that we had to score," Angel said. "New England came into the game with a defensive style looking to counter attack on a mistake as a visiting team usually does in the playoffs, but now we have 90 more minutes to play and try to come away with a win."

Twellman, the Revolution's leading scorer with 16 goals in 26 games, netted three goals in three contests against New York to help give New England a 2-0-1 advantage in the regular season series. He has a franchise-best 12 goals in 17 career regular-season meetings with the Red Bulls but has been held scoreless in their three playoff meetings.

"We are very excited to go home and make sure that we take care of our own business," Twellman said.

The Revolution, who lost in the 2006 MLS Cup in penalty kicks to Houston Dynamo, have bounced the Red Bulls from the playoffs in 2003 and 2005. They return home for second game of the home-and-home series - they haven't lost a game in 11 matches, going 7-0-4.

Red Bulls coach Bruce Arena, who had two MLS titles to his name while coaching DC United in 1996 and 1997, is looking to lift the Red Bulls out of the opening round for only the second time in nine postseason appearances. He was satisfied with the tie, but upset after the blown chances of coming away with a win.

"New England did a good job of containing Juan Pablo Angel on his chances and his touches on the ball," Arena said. "We played a good game. I think our crosses on the night were poor and we didn't do well on our finishes. I think we have the confidence we can beat them in New England."

The second game of the home-and-home series will be played next Saturday night at New England.