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REVOLUTION 3, CREW 2

Revolution give Crew swift kicks

FOXBOROUGH -- The Revolution spent most of the Major League Soccer season sending free kicks off walls and over crossbars. But the Revolution converted twice on free kicks, including Joe Franchino's decider seven minutes into overtime, for a 3-2 victory over the Columbus Crew last night.

The Revolution (33 points) escaped the Eastern Conference cellar, passing the Crew (31), who held a two-goal lead with 12 minutes remaining in regulation time.

Joe-Max Moore converted a free kick in the 78th minute and Shalrie Joseph tied the score in the 81st minute off a corner.

"At 2-nil down it obviously doesn't look like a win," Revolution coach Steve Nicol said. "But it didn't feel like a loss, and the players didn't feel that way, either. We were going forward and creating chances. We should have had two penalties. The way they attacked and defended, what can you say? It looks like we stole a win but from where I sit the team that won deserved to win."

Nicol made decisive moves, gambling with a 3-5-2 formation and substituting defenders Daouda Kante and Carlos Llamosa in the second half. Llamosa (sprained right knee) is questionable for the Revolution's visit to Dallas Saturday.

The result showed that the Revolution are not completely dependent on the scoring of Taylor Twellman, who played his second match since recovering from head injuries and has not converted since Aug. 16.

The Revolution found an offensive rhythm, playing through Jose Cancela and Moore, with Joseph in support, and also went to the wings for Pat Noonan and Steve Ralston to cross. Twellman headed off the far post on a corner in the 30th minute. By then, three Crew players -- Mark Williams, Frankie Hejduk, and Brian McBride -- had been cautioned.

But the Crew regained their composure and threatened on the left wing. Llamosa cleared a Brian West cross in the 31st minute, but Kyle Martino finished Hejduk's corner on a play that began on the left side in the 41st. In the final minute of the half, McBride sent West in alone on Adin Brown, who stuffed the point-blank shot.

Nicol went to a 3-5-2 alignment in the 56th minute, pulling Kante and adding Chris Brown at forward, with Moore dropping into midfield. The move nearly paid off in the 72d minute as Noonan appeared to be tripped by Brian Maisonneuve in the penalty area. Referee Terry Vaughn allowed play to proceed, and defender Eric Denton broke loose on a one-man counterattack, finishing off with a shot inside the right post for a two-goal lead.

Moore scored in the 78th minute, curling a 25-yard free kick off the inside of the left post, the Revolution's first goal directly off a free kick this season and Moore's first goal since July 16.

Joseph tied the score three minutes later, outmaneuvering Williams to bounce a header into the roof of the net, his first goal since joining the Revolution this year.

Jeff Matteo was issued the Crew's sixth caution, after taking down Joseph in the seventh minute of overtime. Franchino, 20 yards out on the right side, slammed the free kick from the right into the far side of the net, his first free kick goal since April 27, 2002, at Chicago. . . .

Mike Magee's goal five minutes into second-half stoppage time enabled the second-place MetroStars to tie host D.C. United, 1-1, and maintain a 1-point lead over United, which leads the fourth-place Revolution by 4 points.

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