Byline: Carl Setterlund
FOXBORO -- Finally, the New England Revolution woke up.
After sleepwalking through 54 minutes of the club's first playoff game since 2009, New England broke through against a Sporting Kansas City side that had held the Revs scoreless for a stretch of 557 minutes, dating to July 2011.
A 55th-minute tap-in by Andy Dorman got New England started, and Kelyn Rowe followed 12 minutes later to send the hosts to a 2-1 victory in front of 15,164 on Saturday night at Gillette Stadium in the first leg of a home-and-home series.
After bucking their recent scoring woes against Sporting KC, the Revs now head to Kansas City to conclude their Eastern Conference semifinal series at 9 p.m. Wednesday, with the winner decided on aggregate goals over both games.
"It's a step forward, but at the same time, it's a very difficult road ahead,'' Revolution coach Jay Heaps said. "If we're talking three or four goals, maybe this is a big step forward, but it's a battle. We have a one-goal lead, it's halftime (of the series), and we have a big, big battle going into Kansas City.''
The series winner will face the New York Red Bulls or Houston Dynamo.
The Revs got on board in the 55th minute as Lee Nguyen sent a rocket from the right side off Sporting KC goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen.
The shot was too hot to handle, bouncing off Juan Agudelo and then back off Nielsen before bounding past to the goal line. Dorman swooped in from the weak side to score into an open net.
In the 67th minute, Agudelo dribbled up the middle and laid it off to Nguyen, who then rolled it into open space in the box.
Rowe willed himself to the ball first and skillfully poked it in off the...