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Serie A heavyweights head-to-head

50-50 Challenge 2 days ago
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By ESPN Staff
Sep 26, 2005

Sounders to face Kickers

Brief reports of United Soccer Leagues play this week. USL First Division Playoffs - Semifinals (two-leg, aggregate score series) 4-Seattle Sounders v 1-Montreal Impact Friday, September 23 Montreal Impact 2 at Seattle Sounders 2 In a rematch of last year's championship game that ended 2-0 in favor of Montreal, the Sounders took a 2-0 lead over the league's top defense and regular season champion Impact. Rookie of the Year finalist CJ Klaas found Gabe Sturm for the opening tally 10 minutes in and veteran Leighton O'Brien tallied 12 minutes later. Montreal, however, got a spark off the bench in Charles Gbeke, who entered the game 14 minutes from time and proceeded to score two in the final four minutes to send the series to Montreal level at 2-2. Masahiro Fukasawa set up the 86th minute tally and Adam Braz the 88th. Sunday, September 25 Seattle Sounders 2 at Montreal Impact 1 After scoring the first goal of the series in the first leg, Gabe Sturm set up the opening strike by Brent Whitfield in the 59th minute to give the Sounders the series lead in Montreal. The Impact's first leg hero Charles Gbeke came off the bench again to be the hero with an equalizer in the 72nd minute, but Seattle's First Round star, Roger Levesque, scored his fourth goal of the playoffs in the 90th minute to avenge last year's championship defeat while advancing to the championship on aggregate 4-3. 2-Rochester Raging Rhinos v 6-Richmond Kickers Friday, September 23 Rochester Raging Rhinos 1 at Richmond Kickers 3 The Kickers stunned the Rhinos 3-1 to end a 13-game winless run that included a pair of scoreless draws in the First Round of the playoffs. Matthew Delicate scored his first goal since May 21, the Kickers' last three-goal outing, 12 minutes into the match on an assist from McColm Cephas only to see an own goal level the game three minutes later. Cephas found Delicate again in the 55th minute to put the Kickers up 2-1 and Joey Worthen gave the Kickers a two-goal lead in the 65th on an assist from Sascha Gorres. Sunday, September 25 Richmond Kickers 1 at Rochester Raging Rhinos 1 Matthew Delicate tallied his third goal of the series in the 51st minute on a counter-attack led by former Rhino Chris Carrieri, who flew up the left side before slipping a perfectly weighted ball to Delicate, who slotted it past Scott Vallow to the left post from the top of the box for a commanding three-goal series lead. McColm Cephas, who had two assists Friday, saw red at the close of regulation from a dispute with a pair of Rhinos players, extending stoppage time that allowed for a last-second penalty kick for the Rhinos. Rhinos all-time leading scorer Doug Miller, who announced his retirement earlier this season, stepped up to the spot to bury the final goal at Frontier Field for the Rhinos on the final kick of the game. He also scored the first-ever goal at the stadium for the Rhinos, who will move into their new soccer-specific stadium PAETEC Park next year, in 1996 with a hat-trick in a 3-2 win over Montreal. USL First Division Remaining Playoff Schedule USL FIRST DIVISION CHAMPIONSHIP Richmond Kickers at Seattle Sounders Saturday, October 1 - 11 p.m. ET

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