Final: Revs 1, Crew 3

Three second-half goals lift Crew in come-from-behind victory

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Columbus Crew scored three second-half goals to erase a halftime deficit and claim a 3-1 win over the New England Revolution on Saturday night at Crew Stadium.

Benny Feilhaber gave the Revolution (4-11-9, 21 pts.) a 1-0 lead with his second goal of the season in the 45th minute, but the Crew (10-7-7, 37 pts.) responded through an own goal by New England defender Kevin Alston (54th minute) and additional strikes by Julius James (75th minute) and Emilio Renteria (81st minute) to claim a 10th win on the season.

With the victory, Columbus extended its lead on top of the Eastern Conference standings to three points over the Philadelphia Union, while New England saw its four-game unbeaten run on the road come to an end.

There were two changes to the Revolution lineup which suffered a 3-2 loss to Chivas USA last weekend at Gillette Stadium. A.J. Soares returned from suspension to replace Ryan Cochrane in central defense, while central midfielder Pat Phelan took the spot of injured winger Sainey Nyassi (R MCL sprain) as the Revs moved from a 4-4-2 formation to a 4-3-3 setup.

A largely uneventful first half looked likely to finish without a goal until Feilhaber struck in the 45th minute to give the Revolution a 1-0 lead going into the halftime break. Phelan did well to hold off a defender as he worked his way into the left side of the box before dishing a short pass into the path of Feilhaber, who unleashed an unstoppable drive from 18 yards out past the left hand of sprawling Crew goalkeeper William Hesmer.

Just minutes earlier, Revolution goalkeeper Matt Reis had kept Columbus off the board with a fantastic diving save, laying out to his right to push away Chad Marshall’s header.

Reis could do nothing to prevent the Crew from leveling the score at 1-1 in the 54th minute, however, as the unfortunate Alston turned the ball into his own net. Columbus midfielder Justin Meram started the move by chipping the ball into the middle for Andres Mendoza, who in turn looped the ball into the box for the onrushing Tommy Heinemann. As Alston lunged to defend the cross, the right back popped the ball over Reis and under the crossbar.

New England almost engineered an immediate response in the 62nd minute. Stephen McCarthy arrived at the back post to head a free kick across the face of goal, and after a brief scramble Soares watched his close-range effort smash off the underside of the crossbar before being corralled by Hesmer.

The Revs were left to rue the missed opportunity as James scored from a set piece in the 75th minute to put the home side ahead. Josh Gardner delivered a corner kick toward the six-yard box and James arrived ahead of the charging Reis, powering a downward header off the ground and into the roof of the net to give the Crew a 2-1 lead.

Columbus added a third goal just six minutes later to extend its advantage to 3-1 and essentially put the game out of reach in the 81st minute. Second-half substitute Dilly Duka slotted a through ball to Robbie Rogers down the right wing, where the U.S. National Team midfielder sent a simple square pass into the box for Renteria to finish from close range.

The Revs will return home for a pair of games next week, beginning with a midweek showdown against the Houston Dynamo on Wednesday, Aug. 17. Kickoff from Gillette Stadium is set for 8 p.m.

Columbus Crew vs. New England Revolution
August 13, 2011 – Crew Stadium (Columbus, Ohio)

Columbus Crew 3, New England Revolution 1

Scoring Summary:
NE: Benny Feilhaber (Pat Phelan) 45
CLB: Own Goal (Kevin Alston) 54
CLB: Julius James (Josh Gardner) 75
CLB: Emilio Renteria (Robbie Rogers, Dilly Duka) 81

New England Revolution: Matt Reis, Chris Tierney, A.J. Soares, Darrius Barnes, Kevin Alston, Stephen McCarthy (Diego Fagundez 79), Sharlie Joseph ©, Pat Phelan, Benny Feilhaber, Milton Caraglio (Zak Boggs 79), Zack Schilawski (Kenny Mansally 68)

Substitutes Not Used: Bobby Shuttleworth, Ryan Guy, Andrew Sousa, Ryan Cochrane

STATS*: Shots: 10; Shots on Goal: 4; Saves: 7; Corner Kicks: 2; Offside: 3; Fouls Committed: 4

Columbus Crew: William Hesmer, Sebastian Miranda, Chad Marshall ©, Julius James, Josh Gardner, Justin Meram (Bernardo Anor 72), Kevin Burns, Emmanuel Ekpo, Robbie Rogers, Andres Mendoza (Dilly Duka 66), Tommy Heinemann (Emilio Renteria 58)

Substitutes Not Used: Andy Grunebaum, Korey Veeder, Eric Gehrig, Cole Grossman

STATS*: Shots: 16; Shots on Goal: 9; Saves: 3; Corner Kicks: 6; Offside: 3; Fouls Committed: 13

* Note that all statistics are unofficial

Misconduct Summary:
CLB: Miranda (caution) 60
CLB: Meram (caution) 61
CLB: Anor (cautiom) 90

Referee: Andrew Chapin

Assistant Referees: Greg Barkey, Jeff Hosking

Fourth Official: John McCloskey
Weather: Partly Cloudy and 83 degrees

Attendance: 13,041

GAME NOTES:

  • With the Revs loss, Columbus increases its lead in the all-time regular-season series between the two teams, 27-16-10 … the Revs are 6-15-6 on the road at Columbus, including a 5-10-6 mark at Crew Stadium since its opening in 1999
  • Tonight’s match was the 53rd all-time regular season meeting, and the first regular-season meeting between the Revs and Crew this season … the Crew will visit Foxborough and wrap up the season series on October 15
  • New England has won just twice in its last 11 meetings with Columbus dating back to the 2007 season … the Revs are 2-6-3 in that stretch
  • With the loss, the Revs unbeaten streak on the road comes to a close at four games … after losing six straight on the road earlier in the year, the Revs strung together a 1-0-3 record since their 3-3 draw at Real Salt Lake on July 4 before falling to the Crew tonight
  • The Revs opened the match in a 4-3-3 formation, with Schilawski, Feilhaber and Caraglio as forwards … the Revs have run a three-forward line four of the last five games … the Revs used two forwards – Caraglio and Schilawski – in last Saturday’s match against Chivas USA.
  • Benny Feilhaber’s 45th-minute strike was his second goal of the season … his last goal came at Colorado on July 23 … Feilhaber’s goal was the first of the game – by either side – in both of the games in which he has found the back of the net
  • Pat Phelan’s assist on Benny Feilhaber’s 45th-minute goal was his third assist of the season … Phelan is now tied for the team lead in assists alongside Feilhaber, with three … Phelan’s last assist came back on June 18 against Chicago
  • Pat Phelan assisted on a goal at Columbus tonight for the second consecutive game against the Crew … Phelan also recorded one assist – as well as a goal – in the September 25, 2010 2-2 draw against the Crew at Gillette Stadium… his assist tonight was also his first on the road this season since April 6, at Vancouver
  • A.J. Soares returned to the lineup tonight at center back after missing the last match against Chivas USA due to a one-game red-card suspension … so far this season, Soares has started all 22 games in which he’s been available.
  • Rajko Lekic missed his second consecutive match tonight while recovering from a fractured right great toe
  • Franco Coria (L MCL sprain), Sainey Nyassi (R MCL sprain) and Kheli Dube (whiplash) were also unavailable tonight
  • With tonight’s 3-1 final, the teams have combined for four or more goals in seven of their last 11 meetings, including a 3-2 Columbus win in Columbus last May, and a 2-2 draw in Foxborough last September
  • The own goal against the Revs was the second of the season, with the last own goal against coming at New York on June 10 … it also marked the second consecutive year that the Revs have had an own goal against at Columbus
  • Revolution goalkeeper Matt Reis has started in all but one of his 27 appearances against the Crew, going 7-9-9 with five shutouts
  • The Revs scored once tonight, marking the sixth consecutive game in which the road team has scored at least one goal in the New England-Columbus all-time series
  • Despite having the lead heading into the half on Benny Feilhaber’s 45th-minute goal, the Revs lost their first game of the season when leading at halftime … the Revs are now 1-1-3 when taking a lead into the locker room after 45 minutes of play
  • After making his MLS debut last Saturday against Chivas USA, 16-year-old Home Grown Player Diego Fagundez entered the game for the Revs in the 79th minute for Stephen McCarthy …
  • Fagundez has now made two appearances on the year and has one goal.
  • The Revs have scored a goal in each of their last five road games dating back to their 3-3 draw at Real Salt Lake on July 4 … the Revs dropped to 4-2-5 in the just 11 games in which they have struck first