Pat Noonan scored minutes into overtime as the New England Revolution defeated the Carolina RailHawks, 2-1, on Tuesday to advance to the U.S. Open Cup championship.
Noonan's goal completed New England's comeback from an early deficit against Carolina of United Soccer Leagues. The game ended with the Revolution down a man and Carolina down two, as 11 cards were issued in the match.
New England, which is tied atop the Eastern Conference in Major League Soccer, will play in just its second U.S. Open Cup championship at FC Dallas on Oct. 3. Dallas beat the Seattle Sounders, 2-1, in overtime Wednesday.
Carolina grabbed the lead just six minutes into the game on Anthony Maher's volley from 12 yards out. Jonny Steele passed to Maher from the penalty spot and he slotted the ball just inside the right post to beat Revs goalie Matt Reis.
Late in the first half the game started to get physical as a hard tackle from New England's Avery John resulted in a scrum where nearly every player on the field came together. John and Carolina's David Stokes were shown yellow cards, but it didn't prevent another scrum.
On the ensuing free kick, players from both clubs started to push and shove and New England's Shalrie Joseph and Carolina's Connally Edozian were given red cards.
The delays added a lot of extra time to the first half, and New England took advantage to score the tying goal in the 48th minute. Noonan sent a cross into the box and Jeff Larentowicz dove to head the ball into the net.
The game remained tied at 1 through the second half, but New England went up a man in the 80th minute when Stokes was ejected for taking down Cristman on a breakaway.
After hitting the woodwork twice in regulation, Noonan finally found the net early in overtime. Adam Cristman picked up the assist when he made a pass to Noonan at the top of the box. Noonan unleashed a blast from 19 yards to beat Carolina goalie Chris McClellan.
New England held on through the remainder of first overtime and the second extra session to seal the victory.
The Revolution (12-5-6) return to MLS play Sunday against D.C. United, which is tied with New England atop the Eastern Conference.