COLUMBUS, Ohio – The New England Revolution received goals from Jerry Bengtson, Ryan Guy and Lee Nguyen, but it wasn’t enough to overcome the Columbus Crew, which roared back from an early deficit to send the Revs to a 4-3 loss in a wild affair on Saturday night at Crew Stadium.
Jairo Arrieta and Federico Higuain each scored a pair of goals for the Crew (10-8-6, 36 pts.), which improved to 4-1-2 in the last seven games and has climbed to within four points of the final playoff spot in the East. The Revs (6-14-5, 23 pts.) suffered their fifth straight loss and are now winless in their last eight games (0-7-1).
Guy and Bengtson scored six minutes apart midway through the first half to give the Revolution an early 2-0 lead, but the Crew answered with three goals before the halftime break as Arrieta’s first goal was sandwiched between a pair of remarkable Higuain free kicks. Nguyen briefly brought the Revs level with an 81st-minute penalty kick, but Arrieta notched his second of the night in the 86th minute to claim a dramatic winner for the Crew.
Bengtson, Benny Feilhaber and Kelyn Rowe all returned to the Revolution’s starting lineup after appearing as substitutes in last weekend’s loss to the Chicago Fire, while Nguyen – removed at halftime in Chicago with a sprained left ankle – started the game on the bench.
Feilhaber was the architect of the game’s first real chance in the 10th minute when his in-swinging cross from the left wing found Guy streaking through the box, but Guy’s powerful header flashed just wide of the left post. The early chance was a sign of things to come in a riveting first half.
Guy found his range in the 17th minute, striking from long distance to give the Revs a 1-0 lead. Saer Sene teed up the chance with a short layoff outside the box and Guy let loose from 25 yards, benefitting from a slight deflection as the ball dipped past Crew goalkeeper Andy Gruenebaum.
The Revs continued to pile on the pressure and doubled their lead in the 23rd minute when Bengtson beat the offside trap, latched onto Feilhaber’s through ball and rounded the charging Gruenebaum, who had come well outside his box to challenge. Although Bengtson’s effort kicked off the inside of the left post, it eventually nestled into the back of the net.
New England’s lead didn’t last for long, however, as Higuain (26’) and Arrieta (32’) answered back almost immediately to pull Columbus level at 2-2. Higuain struck first with an exquisite free kick, curling a 25-yard drive over the wall and into the upper right corner, while Arrieta drilled a left-footed shot into the near upper corner after Milovan Mirosevic played him behind the Revolution’s backline and into the box.
Higuain proved his first goal wasn’t a fluke by burying another free kick from a similar distance in the 43rd minute as the Crew turned a 2-0 deficit into a 3-2 lead before the halftime break. This time the foul occurred on the opposite side of the field, but the result was the same as Higuain curled his effort over the wall and inside the left post.
Searching for an equalizer the Revs made a pair of changes midway through the second half, bringing on Nguyen and Diego Fagundez. The moves prompted a switch to a 3-5-2 formation with Chris Tierney pushing from left back up to left midfield.
The Revs almost found their equalizer in the 74th minute, although through unconventional means. Kelyn Rowe’s right-wing cross bounced in an awkward spot and forced Crew defender Julius James into an uncomfortable header, which he directed off the outside of the post.
James wasn’t as fortunate in the 81st minute, however, as he conceded a penalty kick by fouling Fagundez as he shielded the ball inside the box. Nguyen stepped to the spot and buried his effort low and to the right, past Crew goalkeeper Matt Lampson, who replaced the injured Gruenebaum at halftime.
It appeared as if Nguyen’s goal would rescue a point for the Revs, but Arrieta spoiled those plans in the 86th minute when he raced onto Tony Tchani’s looping pass and finished low inside the right post from the center of the box.
Both Bengtson and Guy had late bids to grab another equalizer for the Revs, but Lampson was up to the task as he earned the win in his MLS debut.
The Revs will now return home to play three games in an eight-day span, beginning on Wednesday, Aug. 29, when they’ll welcome Chivas USA to Gillette Stadium.
New England Revolution at Columbus Crew
August 25, 2012 – Columbus Crew Stadium (Columbus, Ohio)
Columbus Crew 4, New England Revolution 3
NE – Ryan Guy (Saer Sene) 17
NE – Jerry Bengtson (Benny Feilhaber) 23
CLB – Federico Higuain (unassisted) 26
CLB – Jairo Arrieta (Milovan Mirosevic) 32
CLB – Federico Higuain (unassisted) 43
NE – Lee Nguyen (penalty kick) 81
CLB – Jairo Arrieta (Tony Tchani, Milovan Mirosevic) 86
New England Revolution: Matt Reis, Chris Tierney, A.J. Soares, Stephen McCarthy, Kevin Alston, Benny Feilhaber (Fernando Cardenas 80), Ryan Guy, Clyde Simms (Lee Nguyen 62), Kelyn Rowe, Jerry Bengtson, Saer Sene (Diego Fagundez 65)
Substitutes Not Used: Tim Murray, Flo Lechner, Darrius Barnes, Dimitry Imbongo
STATS: Shots 18, Shots on Target 8, Corner Kicks 4, Saves 2, Fouls 8, Offsides 5, Passes (percentage) 361 (72.6%), Possession 47.4%
Columbus Crew: Andy Gruenebaum (Matt Lampson 46), Josh Williams, Carlos Mendes (Julius James 40), Chad Marshall, Sebastian Miranda, Dilly Duka, Milovan Mirosevic, Danny O’Rourke, Eddie Gaven, Federico Higuain (Tony Tchani 72), Jairo Arrieta
Substitutes Not Used: Chris Birchall, Cole Grossman, Justim Meram, Emilio Renteria
STATS: Shots 20, Shots on Target 6, Corner Kicks 6, Saves 5, Fouls 15, Offsides 5, Passes (percentage) 405 (80.2%), Possession 52.6%
* Note that all statistics are unofficial
CLB – Kevin Alston (caution) 70
Referee: Armando Villarreal
Assistant Referees: Sean Hurd, James Conlee
Fourth Official: Kevin Terry, Jr.
Weather: Partly Cloudy, 89 degrees
New England Revolution: 6-14-5 (23 pts.)
Columbus Crew: 10-8-6 (36 pts.)
- With the loss, the Revs are now 16-29-11 all-time against Columbus in MLS regular-season action
- On the road, New England is 6-16-6 in Columbus
- The loss extended the Revs’ winless streak against Columbus to six matches … the streak started May 8, 2010
- This was the third straight game in Columbus the Revs allowed three or more goals … the team lost 3-2 on May 8, 2010, and 3-1 on August 13, 2011
- The loss also extended the team’s winless streak to eight games (0-7-1), which began on July 14 … the Revs have lost their last five games, all by one goal
- This was the team’s 13th one-goal loss this season … all but one of the team’s 14 losses have been by a single goal
- The team’s 18 shots were the team’s highest game total since also recording 18 shots against Toronto in a 1-0 loss at home on July 14
- Tonight’s three-goal effort was the team’s ninth multiple-goal game of the season … it was also the team’s first multiple-goal game since earning a 2-0 win against New York on July 8 at home – a span of seven games between multi-goal efforts
- Tonight’s three-goal output was the team’s fourth multiple-goal game on the road this season … the team also scored two or more goals at LA (three goals) on March 31, at D.C. (two goals) on May 26 and, at Toronto (two goals) on June 23
- Tonight’s three-goal effort was the team’s first three-goal game since scoring four goals against Vancouver at home on May 12
- Tonight’s three-goal effort was the team’s first three-plus goal game on the road since the team earned a 3-1 win on the road at LA on March 31, 2012
- Ryan Guy’s goal was his first of the season in his 15th appearance … it was the third goal of his career … it was also Guy’s first goal since he scored two at Chicago on September 25, 2011
- Saer Sene’s assist on Ryan Guy’s goal was his third of the season and the third of his MLS career
- Saer Sene’s assist on Ryan Guy’s goal was his first assist since May 2 in a 2-1 win over Colorado at home … that was a stretch of 16 games between assists
- Jerry Bengtson’s goal was his second goal of the season and the second of his MLS career
- Jerry Bengtson’s goal was also his first goal since he scored in his MLS debut on July 8 in a 2-0 win over New York at Gillette Stadium – a span of four games in which he was available and/or played as he missed four games (July 18 at Montreal through August 4 vs. Kansas City) while with Honduras at the 2012 Olympics
- Benny Feilhaber’s assist on Jerry Bengtson’s goal was his second of the season and his first since June 2 in a 2-0 win at home against Chicago … Feilhaber went 11 games between assists, the longest such stretch between assists in his MLS career
- Ryan Guy’s 17th minute goal gave the Revs their first lead in a road game since May 5, 2012 at Real Salt Lake, when the team took a 1-0 lead through Blake Brettschneider’s 22nd-minute goal … RSL later scored two unanswered goals to claim a 2-1 win
- Jerry Bengtson’s 23rd minute goal gave the Revs their first two-goal lead on the road since March 31, 2012 at LA, when the team earned a 2-0 lead through goals from Kelyn Rowe (10th minute) and Chris Tierney (13th minute) … the Revs went on to claim a 3-1 win in that game
- Lee Nguyen scored his fifth goal of the season when he converted his 81st minute penalty kick … he is ranked second on the team in goal scoring
- The Revs are now 2-for-2 in penalty kick conversions this season following Lee Nguyen’s successful attempt tonight
- Tonight’s penalty kick was the team’s first since the club was awarded one against Houston at home on May 19 … Saer Sene converted that attempt