COLUMBUS, Ohio – Charlie Davies scored twice while Chris Tierney and MLS MVP candidate Lee Nguyen added goals as the New England Revolution earned an impressive 4-2 victory over the Columbus Crew in the first leg of their Eastern Conference Semifinal series at Crew Stadium. Davies scored on either side of halftime while Tierney and Nguyen each tallied second half goals, giving the Revs four important road goals and a 4-2 advantage heading into the second leg at Gillette Stadium next weekend.
Playing at the site of the club’s only loss since August 2, the Revs enjoyed the better of the play for much of the first half before finally pulling in front in the 34th minute. Teal Bunbury won a freekick on the right flank and Kelyn Rowe swung a right-footed cross into the box for Davies, who beat the offside trap and sent a diving header past Crew goalkeeper Steve Clark, putting the Revs in front 1-0.
They would maintain that advantage into the halftime break before doubling their lead in the 51st minute. New England’s second goal also came from a set piece with Chris Tierney curling a shot over the wall and into the corner of the net after Rowe had been chopped down at the edge of the penalty area.
Justin Meram would pull a goal back for the Crew in the 64th minute only for Lee Nguyen to restore the Revs’ two-goal advantage in the 70th minute. Collecting a pass from Jermaine Jones near midfield, Nguyen ran straight at the heart of the Crew defense before cutting past one defender and sending a shot past Clark, making the score 3-1.
On a similar run eight minutes later, Davies grabbed his second of the game, becoming the first Revolution player ever to score multiple goals in a postseason game. He collected a pass from Scott Caldwell and ran at the Columbus defense before firing a shot in off the post to make the score 4-1 New England.
Columbus pulled a goal back in second half stoppage time as Federico Higuain converted a penalty kick after Revolution captain Jose Goncalves was whistled for a handball inside the penalty area.
The Revolution now head back to New England for next weekend’s second leg at Gillette Stadium with a 4-2 lead on aggregate and knowing that a win, draw or loss by a single goal will see the club through to the Eastern Conference Championship for the first time since 2007 on aggregate goals. The Revs would also advance if they were to lose the return leg, which will be played on Sunday, November 9 at 5 p.m., by two goals, with the Crew scoring fewer than four times as the series would be tied but the Revs would own the series’ first tiebreaker, which is road goals.
CHARLIE DAVIES – Became the first player in Revolution history to score multiple goals in a postseason game, scoring on either side of halftime. Davies was making his MLS Cup Playoff debut in the game and gave the Revs a 1-0 lead in the 34th minute before sealing the win with a 78th minute strike that gave his side a 4-1 advantage.
The Revolution and Crew will be back in action for the second leg of their Eastern Conference Semifinal series on Sunday, November 9 at Gillette Stadium. That game is scheduled to kick off at 5 p.m. and will be televised by ESPN2 while 98.5 The Sports Hub and WMVX 1570 AM “Nossa Radio USA”.
New England Revolution at Columbus Crew
November 1, 2014 – Crew Stadium (Columbus, Ohio)
New England Revolution 4, Columbus Crew 2
NE – Charlie Davies 1 (Kelyn Rowe 1) 34’
NE – Chris Tierney 1 (Unassisted) 51’
CLB – Justin Meram 1 (Unassisted) 63’
NE – Lee Nguyen 1 (Jermaine Jones 1) 70’
NE – Charlie Davies 2 (Scott Caldwell 1) 78’
CLB – Federico Higuain 1 (Penalty Kick) 94+
NE – Jose Goncalves (Yellow Card) 19’
CLB – Waylon Francis (Yellow Card) 70’
CLB – Bernardo Anor (Yellow Card) 91+
New England Revolution: Bobby Shuttleworth; Andrew Farrell, Jose Goncalves ©, A.J. Soares, Chris Tierney; Jermaine Jones, Scott Caldwell; Teal Bunbury, Lee Nguyen (Daigo Kobayashi 89’), Kelyn Rowe (Kevin Alston 74’); Charlie Davies (Patrick Mullins 79’).
Substitutes Not Used: Brad Knighton, Darrius Barnes, Steve Neumann, Diego Fagundez
STATS: Shots 18, Shots on target 9, Saves 4, Corner kicks 4, Offsides 1, Fouls 15, Possession 41.6%, Passes 298 (72.1%)
Columbus Crew: Steve Clark; Hector Jimenez (Eric Gehrig 69’), Michael Parkhurst ©, Tyson Wahl (Jairo Arrieta 79’), Waylon Francis (Bernardo Anor 73’); Etan Finlay, Tony Tchani, Will Trapp, Justin Meram; Federico Higuain; Adam Schoenfeld.
Substitutes Not Used: Matt Lampson, Emanuel Pogatetz, Kevan George, Ben Speas, Jairo Arrieta
STATS: Shots 14, Shots on target 6, Saves 5, Corner kicks 6, Offsides 3, Fouls 17, Possession 58.4%, Passes 406 (77.6%)
Referee: Drew Fischer
Assistant Referees: Joe Fletcher (AR1) and Claudio Badea (AR2)
Fourth Official: Fotis Bazakos
Weather: Cloudy and 40 degrees
Additional Game Notes
- With the win, the Revolution take a 4-2 advantage on aggregate into the second leg at Gillette Stadium next weekend.
- The Revs are now 5-2-2 all-time in the first leg of two-leg, aggregate-goal Conference Semifinal series … this was the fifth of those games that the Revs have played on the road and they are now 2-2-1 in those matches … the Revs have gone on to advance to the Conference Championship in each of the first four times that they played away from home in the first leg of their Conference Semifinal.
- After losing the first two games of the season to Columbus, New England has won each of the last two meetings between the sides.
- The Revs are now 3-0-3 all-time in the MLS Cup Playoffs against Columbus, including a 2-0-1 record at Crew Stadium.
- The four goals scored by New England sets a new club record for goals in a postseason game … the previous club record had been three goals, which was set in the 2004 Eastern Conference Championship against D.C. United and then matched in the second leg of the Eastern Conference Semifinals against the MetroStars (now New York Red Bulls) a year later.
- This was the first time that the Revs had scored at least four goals in a game in all competitions since scoring five against Philadelphia on May 17.
- Revolution head coach Jay Heaps made one change to the team that beat Toronto FC 1-0 in the regular-season finale last weekend … Teal Bunbury returned to the starting lineup after missing the last two games with tightness in his right hamstring … he replaces Diego Fagundez, who began the game on the bench.
- Shalrie Joseph (left groin strain) was the lone Revolution player to miss the game because of injury.
- Bunbury was one of four starters making their Revolution postseason debut in the game, joining Charlie Davies, Jermaine Jones and Bobby Shuttleworth … of that group, only Bunbury has played previously in the MLS Cup Playoffs, appearing five times for Sporting Kansas City, including one against the Revs.
- Charlie Davies gave the Revs a 1-0 lead in the 34th minute … that was the first goal of his postseason career and his first goal in all competitions since September 7 when he scored the game-winning goal in a 2-1 win over the Chicago Fire at Gillette Stadium.
- Davies’ goal was the first first-half goal scored by the Revs in the postseason since Emmanuel Osei scored in first half stoppage time of the first leg of their 2009 Eastern Conference Semifinal series against the Chicago Fire … the Revs would go on to win that game 2-1.
- Kelyn Rowe was credited with the assist on the goal … it was his sixth of the season in all competitions and the second of his playoff career, having tallied one against Sporting Kansas City in the 2013 Eastern Conference Semifinals.
- The Revs’ 1-0 halftime lead was the club’s first halftime advantage away from Gillette Stadium since September 26 against Sporting Kansas City.
- Chris Tierney doubled the Revolution advantage in the 51st minute, curling a freekick into the net for the first playoff goal of his MLS career … that was his second goal in all competitions this season having also scored on a freekick against Philadelphia on May 17.
- Tierney was playing the second postseason game of his career and first since 2008.
- The Crew got on the scoreboard in the 63rd minute through Justin Meram … the Crew scored at least once in all four meetings with the Revs this season … they have not been shutout by the Revs in all competitions since July 2013.
- Lee Nguyen made the score 3-1 Revolution in the 70th minute with the first goal of his MLS Cup Playoff career …this is the first time that the Revs’ top scorer also tallied a postseason goal since 2009 when Shalrie Joseph did so.
- Nguyen’s 19 goals in all competitions are the most by a Revolution player in a single season since 2007 when Taylor Twellman had 23 goals on the year, scoring 16 in the regular season, four in the U.S. Open Cup and three in the MLS Cup Playoffs.
- Jermaine Jones was credited with his first postseason assist on the goal … the Revs are now 7-0-0 when he has a goal or an assist this year.
- Davies became the first Revolution player with multiple goals in a postseason game with a 78thminute strike, making the score 4-1 in favor of the Revs
- Scott Caldwell was credited with the assist on Davies’ second goal … that was the first postseason assist of his career and his third of the year … all three of his assists this year have come on second half goals, though this was the first to come in a game that he started.
- Columbus added a second goal late in second half stoppage time on a Federico Higuain penalty kick after Jose Goncalves was whistled for a handball inside the penalty area.
- That was the first penalty conceded by the Revs since their last trip to Crew Stadium on September 20 and the first to be scored against the club since July 4 against Real Salt Lake.
- The Revolution took 18 shots in the game, outshooting Columbus 18-14 … Jermaine Jones had a game-high five shots in the victory.
- Jose Goncalves was the only Revolution player to be booked in the game as he was shown a 19thminute yellow card … if he is shown another caution before the second leg of the Eastern Conference Championship (if New England is to advance), he will be forced to serve a one-game suspension.
- After playing in all 34 regular-season games, Daigo Kobayashi came off the bench in the 89thminute to make his MLS Cup Playoff debut, replacing Lee Nguyen.
- Bobby Shuttleworth finished the game with four saves while making his postseason debut … he is the fifth different goalkeeper to start a playoff game for the Revolution, joining Walter Zenga, Jeff Causey, Adin Brown and Matt Reis.
- The Revs are now 18-0-1 in all competitions this season when scoring two or more goals.