WASHINGTON (AFP) - The Houston Dynamo won a second consecutive Major League Soccer title Sunday because Zimbabwean Joseph Ngwenya stole New England's heart and Canadian midfielder Dwayne De Rosario swiped the trophy.
Ngwenya struck from the seat of his pants for the equalizer in the 61st minute and De Rosario nodded in a rare header in the 74th to give Dynamo a 2-1 victory over the Revolution in the MLS Cup final.
"We proved how strong a will our team has," De Rosario said. "Our dedication and determination, the will to never give up, is always there. To win back-to-back is special. This moment will live in our hearts forever."
On the same pitch where England star David Beckham made his MLS debut in August, Dynamo won the club's fourth title in seven years and matched DC United as the only back-to-back champions in the 12-season history of the US league.
"This is a team that should be talked about for years to come," Dynamo coach Dominic Kinnear said. "It was definitely tough to repeat. For us to be standing here after the start we got shows how steely and determined these players are."
New England fell to 0-4 in MLS finals, having lost to Houston last year on penalty kicks and in overtime to Los Angeles in both 2002 and 2005. Revolution coach Steve Nicol said their history of title losses had no role in the loss.
"This had nothing to do with any other game. You leave a team hanging around and it comes back to bite you. That's what happened," the former Scottish standout said. "We're guilty of not taking our chances. That's why we lost.
"Their first goal probably shouldn't have gotten that far. That goal was a scrappy goal. We never got back. We got undone. It changed the game."
Taylor Twellman's header in the 20th minute gave New England a 1-0 lead but Houston switched from a 4-4-2 to a 3-5-2 alignment and leveled when Ngwenya, playing for injured Dynamo forward Brian Ching, slid home a goal from the turf.
Ngwenya lost control of a centering pass five meters from the goal and fell to the grass, then swung out his right leg and flicked the ball beneath diving Revolution goalkeeper Matt Reis and across the line to level the match.
"We had a lot of scrappy goals all year and to let one in was really disheartening," said Revolution defender Jay Heaps, who played in all four of New England's finals losses.
"They have all been tough. This was tough because it was our opportunity. I wish I could put into words how tough it feels."
De Rosario, voted the MLS Cup Most Valuable Player, leaped high for a pass from Davis at the top of the penalty area 13 minutes later and the 29-year-old midfielder smacked a header past Reis for the winner.
"I've seen some great goals in some big games but that one was big," Heaps said.
De Rosario almost never works on headers in practice but his noggin nodded nicely when needed most.
"I don't score with my head. It was more instinct than anything else," De Rosario said. "I usually try to bicycle or volley it but heading it was the first thought that came into my head.
"Brad played a perfect ball to my head and I had the easy job putting it in. The rest was history."
Kinnear had pondered playing conservatively after the equalizer but his team was determined to stay aggressive.
"The guys' mentality to keep on attacking even after the equalizer, give them full credit for that," Kinnear said.
The Dynamo have a chance for an unprecedented third crown in a row in 2008.
"It's a challenge we will be excited to face," Dynamo goalkeeper Pat Onstad said. "To come back in the second half, it shows how much it means to these guys and how determined they are to win."
|Serie A Preview: Juve, Roma meet in blockbuster|
|Jedinak absence will hurt Palace - Warnock|
|Deportivo Saprissa 0 Alajuelense 2: Visitors stay unbeaten|
|Copa Sudamericana Review: Bahia move closer to last 16|
|Copa do Brasil Review: Mixed day for Robinho|
|Ferdinand: ´Our players are treated like complete babies´|
|Michel bemoans sloppy mistakes|
|Oxlade-Chamberlain lauds Welbeck|
|Hareide lauds Malmo support|
|Simeone delighted with Atletico|
|Hasi: Anderlecht not good enough|
|San Lorenzo 2 Olimpo 0: Hosts bounce back|
|Sousa: ´It was glorious´|
|Terry moved to tears after Chelsea failure|
|Prandelli defiant over tactics despite loss|
|Salvio - We´ll keep fighting|
|Bender thrilled with ´backs to the wall´ win|
|Dermendzhiev hails courageous Ludogorets|
|Championship Review: Fulham crush Bolton|
|Klopp hails Kagawa, expresses Kehl concern|
|Wenger pleased with wonderful Welbeck|
|Juanfran warns Atleti after Juve win|
|Ronaldo injury not serious, says Ancelotti|
|Rodgers left to rue another Liverpool set-piece slip-up|
|Chiellini holds regrets over Atletico defeat|
|Atletico Madrid 1 Juventus 0: Turan winner ends Juve streak|
|Malmo 2 Olympiacos 0: Rosenberg´s brace creates history for hosts|
|La Liga Preview: Bilbao face uphill task at Real, Valencia host Atletico|
|Arsenal 4 Galatasaray 1: Welbeck treble ensures happy anniversary for Wenger|
|Bayer Leverkusen 3 Benfica 1: Son inspires dominant Leverkusen|
|Ludogorets 1 Real Madrid 2: Benzema spares blushes for visitors|
|Basel 1 Liverpool 0: Streller strike gives Swiss side victory|
|Anderlecht 0 Borussia Dortmund 3: Immobile, Ramos help Germans cruise|
|Berbatov could miss PSG clash|
|Hamsik looking forward to ´special´ Slovan homecoming|
|League Two Preview:Debt-free Portsmouth in party mood|
|Villas-Boas critical of Zenit performance|
|Eredivisie Preview: Amsterdam giants out to avenge humiliation|
|Ligue 1 Preview: Stuttering title favourites face off in Paris|
|Martinez does homework on Krasnodar|
|Zenit 0 Monaco 0: Hosts held to dour draw|
|Pochettino backs Adebayor to find form|
|Pazzini relaxed over Milan progress|
|Ramsey and Allen to miss Wales qualifiers|
|Icardi open to new Inter contract|
|Mazzarri wants Inter perspective|
|Ideye close to Albion return|
|Ogunode doubles up in Incheon|
|K. League Review: Jeonbuk extend lead as Pohang lose|
|Western Sydney Wanderers 2-0 Seoul (agg 2-0): Poljak and Cole fire Australians to final|
|Zamora impressed by Vargas|
|Benteke return has boosted Villa – Weimann|
|Muniesa determined to keep starting spot|
|Diaby prepared to adapt|
|Players to blame, not Pardew - Williamson|
|Dyche looking for squad to step up|
|Havenaar and Kagawa earn Japan recalls|
|Relieved Terry glad to bounce back|
|Martinez backs Besic to shine|
|We paid dearly - Iniesta|
|Blanc hails PSG spirit|
|Tempo not good enough for Milner|
|Rodgers: Sturridge not fit for England|
|Prandelli urges daring approach|
|Jesus bullish ahead of Leverkusen match|
|Bundesliga Preview: Hamburg´s task gets no easier, Bayern battle Hannover|
|Hummels committed to Dortmund|
|Sao Paulo 1 Huachipato 0: Brazilians claim first-leg honours|
|Premier League superior to Serie A - Isla|
|Ferdinand taunts stay-away City fans|
|Simundza hails Maribor effort|
|Yermakovich overjoyed with BATE win|
|We targeted Ajax in the air - Donis|
|Gago among three Argentina inclusions|
|Pellegrini rues poor City showing|
|Aduriz admits Bilbao not good enough|
|Lucescu can´t hide Shakhtar despair|
|De Boer frustrated at ´nothing´ penalty|
|Winning margin not important - Mourinho|
|Maicon disappointed at dropping points|
|Luis Enrique upbeat despite defeat|
|Draw would have been fair - Silva|
|Record-breaker Totti rues Manchester misses|
|Keller: My Schalke players are shattered|
|Championship Review: Norwich beaten, McKinlay off to winning start|
|Champions League centurion Terry proud of achievement|
|Luiz hopes Barca win can kickstart PSG season|
|Crewe Alexandra 0 Notts County 3: Cassidy brace sinks basement boys|
|Aberdeen 2 St Mirren 2: Struggling visitors fight back|
|Shakhtar Donetsk 2 Porto 2: Martinez´s late double salvages dramatic draw|
|Slutsky shrugs off possession statistic|
|Manchester City 1 Roma 1: Evergreen Totti pegs back City|
|APOEL 1 Ajax 1: Manduca rescues point for hosts|
|Schalke 1 Maribor 1: Slovenian underdogs hold firm in Germany|
|BATE 2 Athletic Bilbao 1: Hosts secure first victory over Spanish side|
|Paris Saint-Germain 3 Barcelona 2: Luis Enrique tastes defeat as Xavi makes history|
|Sporting Lisbon 0 Chelsea 1: Matic returns to haunt old rivals|
|K. League Preview: Jeonbuk´s leadership under threat|
|Inter v Qarabag: Mazzarri looking for response|
|Guardiola unimpressed by empty Arena Khimki|
|Krasnodar v Everton: Martinez´s men may be handed triple boost|
|Arabian Gulf League Review: Al Wahda held, Al Shabab win again|
|Schmidt: Leverkusen must match Benfica aggression|
|CSKA Moscow 0 Bayern Munich 1: Century up for German giants|
|Al Ain 2 Al Hilal 1 (agg 2-4): Saudis make final as Gyan sees red|
|Romulo sidelined following hernia surgery|
|Sturridge to miss Basle clash|
|Everton pessimistic over Mirallas injury|
|UEFA Europa League Preview: Mazzarri demands Inter fight, Hecking eyes improvement|
|Ancelotti: Ronaldo an example for everyone|
|Evans returns to Northern Ireland squad|
|Simeone earmarks ´extraordinary´ Tevez as Juve´s dangerman|
|Kitchee 1 Erbil 2 (agg 2-3): Early goals see visitors through|
|Herrera sustains fractured rib|
|Tottenham v Besiktas: Kaboul calling for more of the same|
|Scotland call up debutants Gauld and May|
|Ramsey out for up to four weeks|
|Giroud deal done - Wenger|
|Hull City challenge FA over name change ruling|
|Rooney impressed with McNair|
|Luiz: I nearly joined Barca|
|Persipura 0 Al Qadsia 6 (agg 2-10): Visitors coast into final|
|Blanc wary of ´exceptional´ Messi|
|Dawson extends Albion deal|
|Mourinho open to move within Premier League|
|Top four the priority - Van Persie|
|Liga MX Preview: Queretaro braced for Atlas challenge|
|Copa Sudamericana Preview: Sao Paulo out to arrest slump|
|MLS Preview: DC United ready to grind, Revolution host Crew|
|Argentine Primera Division Review: Newell´s unbeaten run ends|
|Mignolet shrugs Valdes, Liverpool link|
|Neville blames transfers for Newcastle form|
|Mathieu applauds Messi, Neymar partnership|
|Mignolet must improve - Carragher|
|Cole hails Lampard|
|Villa may miss opener in Australia|
|Hughes thrilled with ´deserved´ home win|
|Pardew fears for future|