The New England Revolution ended their ten-game winless streak on Wednesday, defeating the Columbus Crew at home, 2-0. The loss ended Columbus’ four-game winning streak.
Robert Warzycha trotted out the same starting XI from the last game for the Crew. New England, missing their starting strikers of Jerry Bengston and Saer Sene, started in a 4-4-2 that was also without midfielder Benny Feilhaber.
The Revolution were the aggressors the entire game, outshooting Columbus 20 to 7. Their first offensive rampage came ten minutes in. Crew goalie Andy Gruenebaum’s opening save came from Ryan Guy’s half-volley attempt that was heading toward the near post. Less than a minute later, Gruenebaum was only able to awkwardly punch away Dimitry Imbongo’s placed shot. In the 12th minute, Diego Fagundez’s low, slow shot was easily saved by Gruenebaum. Lee Nguyen’s free kick in the 19th minute was dealt with by Gruenebaum, but his first save put him in a bad position, forcing him to punch the ball out.
After a long New England throw in during the 29th minute, Gruenebaum came out to grab the ball but missed badly. The loose ball fell to Fagundez. Fagundez’s scissor kick shot attempt went straight toward the Columbus keeper, who parried the ball out of the box. Right before the half, Kevin Alston’s shot took a deflection, forcing Gruenebaum to back track before tipping the ball over the net.
New England’s second offensive wave started in the 52nd minute. Lee Nguyen split the Crew’s defense and let off a shot that went just over the bar. A minute later, the Revolution broke the deadlock. The ball fell to Fagundez off a long throw in, putting him in on goal. Andy Gruenebaum came off his line, but Fagundez got off a right-footed shot, striking the right post. The rebound went straight back to Fagundez, but his touch was bad. Fortunately for New England, the ball fell to Dimitry Imbongo, who tapped the ball into the empty net. A minute after the goal, Nguyen’s long shot forced another save from Gruenebaum.
The Revolution almost doubled their lead in the 60th minute. Nguyen’s free kick found an open Stephen McCarthy in the box. McCarthy’s header went straight into the right side netting. However, his left arm was just slightly offside, and the assistant referee raised his flag for offside.
Fourteen minutes later, New England did manage to double their lead, but it was by way of a Columbus player. Revolution goalie Matt Reis booted the ball up field, and Chris Tierney flicked the ball toward goal. Defender Chad Marshall got to the ball first. He tried to head it back to an onrushing Gruenebaum, but the ball sailed over the goalie’s head. Marshall attempted to run the ball down but quit his efforts early, and the ball rolled in the net.
Columbus’ best chance to score came from a sequence in the 86th minute. Federico Higuain’s corner kick ended up at Nemanja Vukovic’s feet. Vukovic settled the ball and let go a shot from close range, banging the ball off the crossbar after Reis made a fingertip save. The ball bounced around to the top of the box where Marshall bicycle kicked it toward goal. On its way, Jairo Arrieta redirected the shot with his head, but Reis made a diving save, keeping the score in New England’s favor, 2-0.