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Down but not out: Sporting Kansas City falls 2-1 to New England

Aurelien Collin's goal brought Sporting KC back to within one goal and made the deficit more manageable for the second leg.

Stew Milne-USA TODAY Sports

Aurelien Collin pulled one back for Sporting KC after going down 2-0 in the second half to give Sporting KC a manageable deficit going into the second leg on Wednesday.

The Revs will have the advantage going into the second leg, however, leading 2-1 in the aggregate series.

The first half was uneventful with neither team getting great chances at goal. Teal Bunbury had the only chances of the half for either team but barely missed on both of them. The first came in the 17th minute when a flick by Bunbury missed by inches far post, then he received a fantastic ball from Graham Zusi and was alone in the box but a great save from Reis kept the score level.

The teams went into the locker room tied at 0-0.

The second half is where things got really exciting, particularly for the home side. In the 55th minute the Revs crashed the box and a shot was deflected off of Nielsen, then pushed forward from Juan Agudelo and finished by Andy Dorman for the first score of the match. The goal was appealed by Sporting KC since they believed Dorman to be offsides but the referee disagreed and allowed the goal.

The Revs added to their lead in the 66th minute when Lee Nguyen brought the ball forward into the middle of the box and pushed it to Kelyn Rowe who got ahead of the Sporting defense and shot it far post past Nielsen to give the Revs a 2-0 lead.

Sporting responded quickly and possibly saved their season in the 68th minute. The ball was pinballed around the box before being deflected by CJ Sapong near the six-yard line and landing on the outstretched foot of Aurelien Collin, who finished the goal near-post to pull one back for the away side.

Sporting put the pressure on the New England back line for the last 20 minutes of the match and created some good chances to equalize but could not put one in the net. New England finished the game with a 2-1 final score.

The teams head to Kansas City for the second leg on Wednesday at 8 pm. Since the away goal rule is not used in MLS, a one-goal advantage by Sporting KC at the end of 90 minutes would send the game into extra time. Sporting will need to win by two goals or more to go to the Eastern Conference finals.