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Late Baba tally propels New England past Tampa Bay 2-1.

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (Saturday, August 19, 2000) -- New England pulled even with the Colorado Rapids for the eighth and final Major League Soccer playoff spot, using midfielder Imad Baba’s 88th-minute goal to surprise the Tampa Bay Mutiny 2-1 before 15,129 at Foxboro Stadium tonight.

If the season ended today, Colorado (11-13-3, 36 points) would win the tiebreaker over the Revolution (10-11-6), but each team has five games left.

All three goals found net in the final 13 minutes.

With two minutes remaining on the clock, a clearance by Mutiny defender Steve Trittschuh fell on the feet of Baba, who nailed a yard blast to put the Revolution ahead 2-1.

A few minutes after missing two favorable scoring opportunities, striker Wolde Harris made up for his misfires by giving New England a 1-0 lead in the 77th minute. Second-half substitute Eric Wynalda led Baba into the right side of the box with a brilliant pass. Baba's cross found a wide-open Harris who banged home the header for his sixth goal in as many games.

Four minutes later, the Mutiny (15-11-2, 37 points) pulled even at 1-1. On a free kick from the left side of the field, Tampa Bay midfielder Carlos Valderrama sent a cross into the box which Steve Ralston met with a close range header to tie the game. It was Ralston's fifth goal of the season while Valderrama added a 24th assist to his record season total.

After an eventful first half, the game came alive in the second half. The additions of Jamar Beasley (55th minute) and Wynalda (67th minute) gave a boost to a Revolution attack that had failed to produce dangerous chances up to that point. New England enjoyed more possession throughout the game while the Mutiny's offensive firepower was stifled by a strong defensive performance by Adam Eyre and Mauricio Wright on MLS-leading scorer Mamadou Diallo.

New England Revolution 2, Tampa Bay Mutiny 1

Lineups: New England - Juergen Sommer, Rusty Pierce, Mauricio Wright, Adam Eyre, Ted Chronopoulos (Jamar Beasley 55), John Harkes, Joe Franchino, Leonel Alvarez, Imad Baba, Wolde Harris, William Sunsing (Eric Wynalda 67, Carlos Parra 91); Tampa Bay - -Scott Garlick, Joseph Addo, Steve Trittschuh, Chad McCarty, Ritchie Kotschau, Kevin Anderson (Dominic Kinnear 67), Josh Keller, Eric Quill (Manuel Lagos 78), Steve Ralston, Carlos Valderrama, Mamadou Diallo.

Scoring:
New England - -Harris (Baba, Wynalda) 77.
Tampa Bay - Ralston (Valderrama) 81.
New England - Baba (unassisted) 88.

Total shots: New England 23 (Harris 9), Tampa Bay 8 (Ralston 2, Quill 2, Diallo 2). Shots on goal: New England 15 (Baba 4, Harris 4), Tampa Bay 5 (Quill 2). Saves: New England Sommer 3, Tampa Bay - Garlick 12. Fouls: New England 17 (Sunsing 3, Franchino 3), Tampa Bay 14 (Trittschuh 4). Offside: New England 4, Tampa Bay 1. Corner kicks: New England 7, Tampa Bay 2. Yellow card cautions: New England - Baba 90; Tampa Bay - Diallo 80, Garlick 89.

Referee: Richard Heron. Referee's assistants: Richard Eddy, Gus St. Silva. Attendance: 15,129 at Foxboro Stadium in Foxborough, Mass. Weather: Sunny.


Chicago Fire 2, Los Angeles Galaxy 1

CHICAGO -- Forward Hristo Stoitchkov and midfielder Evan Whitfield netted second-half goals to give the Chicago Fire a 2-1 triumph over the Los Angeles Galaxy before 20,248 at Soldier Field.

Whitfield, who came into the game in the 67th minute for Mike Sorber, finished a nice Josh Wolff pass to give the Fire the win. Midfielder Peter Nowak threaded a pass to Ante Razov, who, despite being tripped from behind, passed to Wolff,. Wolff played the advantage, sending a ball just inside the box to Whitfield knocked the ball over the head of goalkeeper Matt Reis into the roof of the net to put Chicago (13-9-5, 44 points) ahead 2-1.

"We were able to push hard from the start of the (second) half," Chicago coach Bob Bradley. "Knowing you're down, you have to have a way to get back into the game. On our end, that's something we feel good about."

Defender Robin Fraser, who took down Razov, received his second yellow card of the match for his foul and was ejected from the game.

Los Angeles went ahead 1-0 in the 26th minute. Midfielder Simon Elliott started the play with a great through ball that found Cobi Jones on the run into the box. Jones' shot struck the inside of the near post, rolled along the goal line, hit the outside of the far post and rolled back into play. Victorine ran onto the stationary ball, putting it into the net for his third goal of the year.

The lead held up until the the Galaxy (12-8-8, 44 points) held the 1-0 lead into the second half, until defender Paul Caligiuri was whistled for holding forward Ante Razov's elbow inside the penalty area. Stoitchkov took the ensuing

Chicago Fire 2, Los Angeles Galaxy 1

Lineups: Chicago - Zach Thornton, C.J. Brown, Andrew Lewis, Carlos Bocanegra, Jesse Marsch, Mike Sorber (Evan Whitfield 66), Dema Kovalenko, DaMarcus Beasley, Peter Nowak, Hristo Stoitchkov (Josh Wolff 60), Ante Razov (Sam George 92+). Los Angeles - Matt Reis, Ezra Hendrickson, Robin Fraser, Greg Vanney, Paul Caligiuri (Zak Ibsen 68), Simon Elliott, Cobi Jones, Peter Vagenas (Ivan Polic 81), Mauricio Cienfuegos, Sasha Victorine (Brian Kelly 59), Luis Hernandez.

Scoring:
Los Angeles - Victorine (Jones, Elliott) 26.
Chicago - Stoitchkov (penalty kick) 52.
Chicago - Whitfield (Wolff, Razov) 75.

Total shots: Chicago 10 (Razov 3), Los Angeles 13 (Hernandez 6). Shots on goal: Chicago 7 (Razov 3), Los Angeles 3 (Elliott 1, Hernandez 1, Victorine 1). Saves: Chicago - Thornton 2; Los Angeles - Reis 5. Fouls: Chicago 24 (Brown 6), Los Angeles 21 (four players with 3). Offside: Chicago 5, Los Angeles 1. Corner kicks: Chicago 1, Los Angeles 3. Yellow card cautions: Chicago - Marsch 4, Bocanegra 57, Brown 72; Los Angeles - Fraser 14, Hernandez 77, Jones 92+. Red card ejection: Los Angeles - Fraser (second yellow card) 76. Possession percentage: Chicago 47, Los Angeles 53.

Referee: Noel Kenny. Referee's assistants: Chip Reed, Terry Vaughn. Attendance: 20,248 at Soldier Field in Chicago. Weather: Partly cloudy, 72 degrees, breezy.


San Jose Earthquakes 1, D.C. United 0

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Entering the night, 10 teams were in contention for MLS’s eight playoff spots. The two teams out of the race met before 14,138 at RFK Stadium.

Khodadad Azizi's second half goal gave the San Jose Earthquakes (6-14-8, 26 points) a 1-0 victory over soon-to-be-dethroned MLS champion D.C. United (6-16-6, 24 points), which was mathematically eliminated from the playoffs.

San Jose rookie goalkeeper Jon Conway earned his second career shutout and first MLS victory in the win, turning away nine shots to preserve the clean sheet.

After a shaky performance by both squads in the first half, the Earthquakes finally found net in the 53rd minute. Defender Dan Calichman started the scoring run with a one-touch pass to midfielder Ryan Tinsley at the right edge of the United penalty area. Tinsley caught the D.C. defense by surprise with a well-timed heel pass that sent Azizi on goal. With two defenders converging on him, the Iranian cut toward goal and drilled a shot that his goalkeeper Tom Presthus arm and squeezed inside the near post.

The goal was Azizi's third goal of the season and his first game-winner.

San Jose Earthquakes 1, D.C. United 0

Lineups: D.C. United - Tom Presthus, Carey Talley, Judah Cooks, Eddie Pope, Jeff Agoos, Ben Olsen (Raul Diaz Arce 21), Geoff Aunger, Bobby Convey, Chris Albright (Marco Etcheverry 46), Jaime Moreno, A.J. Wood (Pete Marino 77). San Jose - Jon Conway, Dan Calichman, Mike Burns, Jim Conrad, Richard Mulrooney, Ryan Tinsley, Mauricio Solis, Dario Brose, Harut Karapetyan (Ian Russell 69), Khodadad Azizi (Travis Mulraine 91+), Giovanni Savarese (Abdul Thompson Conteh 71).

Scoring:
San Jose - Azizi (Tinsley, Calichman) 53.

Total shots: D.C. United 20 (Wood 6), San Jose 12 (Azizi 4). Shots on goal: D.C. United 9 (Wood 3), San Jose 7 (Azizi 2, Karapetyan 2). Saves: D.C. United - Presthus 5; San Jose - Conway 8. Fouls: D.C. United 16 (Moreno 3, Wood 3, Talley 3), San Jose 14 (Conteh 3, Conrad 3). Offside: D.C. United 2, San Jose 6. Corner kicks: D.C. United 12, San Jose 8. Yellow card cautions: D.C. United - Cooks 27; San Jose - Karapetyan 19. Possession percentage: D.C. United 61, San Jose 39.

Referee: Andrew Barnes. Referee's assistants: Greg Barkey, Jon Wilson. Attendance: 14,138 at RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C. Weather: Sunny, 78 degrees.

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