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Revolution tops Sporting KC, 2-1 in first playoff game

The New England Revolution took the first leg of their Eastern Conference semifinal on Saturday night against Sporting KC, 2-1, in Foxborough in the team’s first playoff game in four years.

The buildup for the first goal started after Kelyn Rowe lofted a ball to forward Juan Agudelo, who headed a pass wide right to midfielder Diego Fagundez. Fagundez took a shot that rebounded off Kansas City goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen.

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Revolution midfielder Andy Dorman was in the right place, tapping the ball into an empty Kansas City net after another deflection to give the home side a 1-0 lead.

In the 67th minute, Revolution midfielder Lee Nguyen ran at the Kansas City defense before slipping a pass into the path of Rowe on the right. Rowe struck the ball with a right-footed shot as he slid toward the goal, the ball just evading Nielsen’s outstretched arms.

The 2-0 advantage was cut in half quickly, though. Kansas City defender Chance Myers struck a shot into the path of forward C.J. Sapong in the 69th minute, who deflected the ball onto Aurelien Collin and into the net.

In a fairly uneventful first half, the visitors had the opportunities to take the lead.

Myers headed the ball to the far post off a Graham Zusi corner kick. Using his chest, Nguyen stopped the ball before it crossed the goal line before it was cleared.

Soon afterward, Zusi sent a brilliant pass over the top of the Revolution defense into the stride of Kansas City forward Teal Bunbury. From six yards out, Bunbury hit his shot directly at goalkeeper Matt Reis, who did well to hang onto the ball.

Kansas City forward Dominic Dwyer had a chance to equalize in extra time, but Reis stuck out his right hand and pushed away the shot acrobatically to preserve the win.

The second leg of the Eastern Conference semifinals is on Wednesday at 9 p.m. ET in Kansas City.

Premier League

Santi Cazorla and Aaron Ramsey fired Arsenal to an impressive 2-0 win over big rival Liverpool that extended the Gunners’ lead to five points at the top of the Premier League, as Chelsea lost ground in the title race with a 2-0 surprise loss at Newcastle on Saturday.

Arsenal has taken 25 points out of a possible 30 this season and is five points clear of Chelsea and Liverpool.

Chelsea’s fine form came to an abrupt end at Newcastle, while Manchester City crushed Norwich, 7-0, and Manchester United beat Fulham.

At Craven Cottage, United scored three times in the space of 13 minutes to dispatch Fulham, 3-1, courtesy of goals from Antonio Valencia, Robin van Persie and Wayne Rooney.

German

Bayern Munich returned to the top of the Bundesliga after coming from behind to beat Hoffenheim, 2-1. It was Bayern’s 36th consecutive game without defeat, matching Hamburger SV’s 30-year-old Bundesliga record.

Franck Ribery set up Thomas Mueller to score the winner from close range in the 75th minute. Hoffenheim went in front through Niklas Suele in the 34th, only for Bayern to equalize five minutes later when Ribery’s free kick was deflected in by Mario Mandzukic.

Italian

A late goal by Paul Pogba steered Juventus to a 1-0 win at Parma in coach Antonio Conte’s 100th match in charge, as the visitors kept the pressure on Serie A leader Roma.

Conte rested a number of players ahead of Tuesday’s crucial Champions League match against Real Madrid.

Material from the Associated Press was used in this report.
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