NEW BRITAIN, Conn. — NEW BRITAIN, Conn. - The New England Revolution, playing with mostly reserves in its U.S. Open Cup quarterfinal match last night, did not resemble a first-place team in Major League Soccer's Eastern Division.
Crystal Palace Baltimore, a low-budget team that competes in the United Soccer League Second Division, did not play like a heavy underdog with an inferiority complex.
Having already knocked off one MLS team a week ago, a confident Crystal Palace squad had an opportunity to dethrone the defending Cup champions. But the Revolution avoided what would have been a major upset, winning, 2-1, on penalty kicks before an announced 2,590 at Veterans Memorial Stadium.
The teams played 127 minutes, which included two 15-minute overtimes and seven minutes of stoppage time, and the outcome wasn't decided until Mauricio Castro scored on New England's fifth and final penalty kick, directing a finesse shot into the left side of the goal with goalkeeper Brian Rowland lunging in the other direction.
Seconds earlier, Revolution keeper Doug Warren guessed correctly and dove left to rob Val Teixeira, who walked slowly to midfield with his hands on his hips and his head down. New England converted five penalty kicks to Crystal Palace's three.
"These teams coming in sort of have nothing to lose. Beating the Revolution makes their season," New England midfielder Chris Tierney said.
The Revolution will play D.C. United on Aug. 12 at RFK Stadium in Washington in the Cup Semifinals.
With the scored tied at 1, New England controlled the play in the second half, out-shooting Crystal Palace 9-1 during the final 50 minutes of regulation. But the Revolution was unable to score the go-ahead goal.
Crystal Palace used an aggressive attack early and was physical throughout the match, drawing three misconducts. In the closing seconds of the second 15-minute overtime, Sergio Flores was issued a red card for a foul that sent Pat Phelan to the ground wincing in pain.
"They were being real physical," Tierney said. "I was hoping we would have gotten maybe a little more protection from the referees. It's tough to put the ball in the net when you have two hands wrapped firmly around you."
The Revolution scored in the sixth minute, the result of a defensive breakdown by Crystal Palace. Brandon Tyler sent a through ball to Kenny Mansally, who got behind defender Mike Lookingland in the box and scored.
Crystal Palace scored in the 20th minute after the Revolution failed to clear a corner kick. A scramble ensued in front of the goal, and Dan Lader booted it past Warren to tie the game at 1.