On a cold Wednesday night in Columbus, the Crew inched their way ever so closer to the playoffs. A late, 1-0 win over Chivas USA temporarily moved Columbus into the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
Both teams lined up in a 4-2-3-1 formation. Former Crew forward Alejandro Moreno started up top for Chivas. Back in Columbus’ starting XI was playmaker Federico Higuain.
While Chivas were the early aggressors, the Crew almost took the lead in the 20th minute. Josh Williams’ long shot was saved, but Jairo Arrieta got on the end of the rebound and tapped the ball in. However, like usual, Arrieta was offside. Columbus nearly scored once again in the 32nd minute, but Julius James’ header from an Higuain free kick rattled the woodwork.
The game remained scoreless all the way until the 89th minute. Substitute Tony Tchani played a through ball to Higuain on the left side of the box. The Argentine crossed to Arrieta, whose diving leg connected with the ball and pushed it toward goal. Chivas keeper Dan Kennedy made the save, but the ball bounced up in the air directly above Arrieta. Arrieta headed the ball backward as he fell down, finding a wide open Justin Meram, who blasted the ball into the net with a left-footed shot. Meram’s goal was his fourth of the season and the game winner for Columbus.
Here are a few more pictures from the midweek game:
Massive Report’s photo album from the game features many more pictures.