It was late March , at the end of the first 3-0 start to a season in Columbus Crew history, when the Black and Gold last put together two successive wins. After a come-from-behind 2-1 win over the Montreal Impact last Saturday, the Crew got another streak going with a 2-1 over the New England Revolution.
In a night that ended well for Columbus, things got off to a rocky start in New England. The Revolution came out the brighter of the teams, as forward Teal Bunbury forced Crew goalkeeper Steve Clark into two saves in the opening 15 minutes.
The Black and Gold began to settle as the half went on and had a golden chance to open the scoring in the 31st minute. Federico Higuain found outside back Chad Barson running up the right side. The defender sent in a teasing cross, that met the head of Bernardo Anor at the back post, but his redirect went wide of the opposite stick.
Higuain started another good opportunity for the Crew just five minutes later, when he played speedy midfielder Ethan Finlay in behind the New England defense. Revolution goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth came quick out of the box to clear the effort before Finlay could get a touch, keeping the game scoreless.
In the 41st minute, Higuain nearly struck for the opener, but was denied by Shuttleworth. Anor laid a ball off for Higuain in the box, but his volley attempt went right to the keeper, who put it behind for a Columbus corner.
Just two minutes before the break, the Crew and Higuain finally broke through. After a foul was called outside New England's penalty box, Columbus' number 10 curled a beautiful free kick into the top corner for a 1-0 halftime advantage.
It didn't take long for the Revolution to respond in the second half. After defender Waylon Francis cleared a ball off the line to prevent a goal in the 50th minute, A.J. Soares headed home a corner kick to pull things level a minute later.
It appeared Finlay would respond quickly, after a through ball from Trapp found him in the box, but the effort hit the post in the 56th minute.
Some back and forth action led to chances by both teams and more clearances off the line. New England twice had a player save the day, first on a Tony Tchani effort and then on a Barson back heel that looked destined for the net.
Finally in the 84th minute Finlay gave his team the lead for good. Justin Meram, who checked into the game just a minute previously, played Finlay in behind the defense and this time the winger did not miss, beating Shuttleworth and securing the three points.
The Black and Gold are back in action next Saturday, as they travel to face the Chicago Fire in what will undoubtedly be another tight Eastern Conference battle.