August 25, 2012
CURSED IN COLUMBUS
Revs take two-goal lead, fall 4-3 to Crew
COLUMBUS, Ohio—The New England Revolution got off to the best possible start against the Columbus Crew on Saturday night, only to finish with the worst possible result, a 4-3 defeat.
|Ryan Guy’s 16th-minute goal staked New England to an early lead, but two-goal performances by Federico Higuain and Jairo Arrieta gave the Columbus Crew a 4-3 win Saturday at Crew Stadium.
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
The Crew’s two big summer signings led the way, with Federico Higuain and Jairo Arrieta each scoring twice to keep Columbus (10-8-6, 36 points) within playoff reach and send the Revolution (6-14-5, 23 points) to their fifth consecutive loss. Higuain’s dead-ball brace in the first half gives him three goals and two assists in three appearances – all victories --for the canary-clad Crew. Arrieta knotted the score 2-2 in the 32nd minute, and netted the game-winner in the 86th, four minutes after Lee Nguyen’s penalty kick pulled the Revs into a 3-3 tie, and rookie goalkeeper Matt Lampson preserved the victory with two big saves late in stoppage time.
The goal-starved Revolution stunned the Crew defense with two quick goals, by Ryan Guy in the 16th minute and Jerry Bengtson seven minutes later. Guy ran onto Saer Sene’s pass back from the edge of the box and ripped a 24-yard first-timer that deflected past netminder Andy Gruenebaum into the Crew net. Guy had been the catalyst for the Revolution attack since the stroke of nine minutes. Benny Feilhaber sent a dangerous cross into the box from the left, but Guy, making a hard run from midfield, angled his onrushing header just high and wide.
In the 15th minute, Guy sent a short delivery toward Saer Sene, but Greunebaum was able to field the Frenchman’s header.
Bengston doubled the Revolution lead in the 23rd minute, when the slender Honduran striker collected a perfectly weighted through pass from Benny Feilhaber in the left channel, eluded Gruenebaum just outside the box, then calmly aimed a roller off the left post into the net for his second MLS goal.
Higuain showed his pedigree in the 26th minute, nailing a straight-on free kick from 28 yards out into the top corner of the Revolution net after Stephen McCarthy was whistled for a foul on Eddie Gaven.
In the 31st minute, Guy was unable to convert after taking a through pass from Sene, and a minute later, it was the turn for Arrieta, the Crew’s other key summer acquisition to deliver the equalizer.
The former Deportivo Saprissa striker collected a pass popped over the high New England back line by Chilean midfielder Milovan Mirosevic and rifled a left-footed bullet from a tight angle into the roof of the net for his fourth MLS goal.
Higuain worked another piece of dead-ball magic in the 42nd minute after a quick turn from Gaven earned another foul on McCarthy in a dangerous area on the left.
The 27-year-old older brother of the Real Madrid striker Gonzalo buried his right-footed strike into the top near corner beyond the leaping right-handed reach of Matt Reis.
Former Ohio State University goalkeeper Lampson made his first MLS appearance after intermission, entering in place of Gruenebaum, who left with an undisclosed injury.
Higuain nearly made it a hat trick in the 57th minute, turning on McCarthy at the edge of the box and drilling a left-footed effort just wide.
Gaven had a close range opportunity on a Crew counterattack in the 65th minute, but A.J. Soares was able to deflect away the Columbus veteran’s shot with a late slide.
Reis denied Gaven again in the 79th minute, just touching away a left-footed rocket from distance.
After the ensuing corner kick, Julius James dragged down Diego Fagundez in the box after the teenager gathered in a long punt from Reis, and Lee Nguyen slotted the penalty kick into lower right corner as Lampson dove right.
But the Revolution reprieve was short-lived, as Arrieta put the Crew up for good in the 86th minute.
Second-half substitute Tony Tchani took a Josh Williams throw-in and bounced a through pass beyond the Revolution defense that Arrieta expertly half-volleyed past Reis from fifteen yards.
Arrieta had a bid for a hat trick foiled in the 88th minute, and then, with the clock running down in stoppage time, nearly contributed to a tying New England goal with an unforced turnover, but Lampson came up big in his professional debut.
First, the goalkeeper climbed to deflect a Bengston shot from directly in front of goal, then dove low to his left to touch away a Guy screamer from the left that was heading for goal.
Revolution coach Jay Heaps made three changes to his line-up.
With Nguyen hampered by an ankle sprain after enduring repeated assault and battery over recent weeks, Feilhaber returned to the starting eleven on the left flank opposite rookie Kelyn Rowe, with the ever-ready Guy and Clyde Simms deployed in central roles.
Bengtson, liberated from international obligations, joined Sene at the top of the Revolution 4-4-2, while the back line remained unchanged from last week’s match against Chicago.
Nguyen came on for Simms just after the hour mark to add another attacking option, and Fagundez replaced Sene in the 65th minute.
The tactical substitutions produced the sought-after equalizer but not the desired outcome, as the Revolution’s winless streak stretched to eight games.