The story was written as Kei Kamara against Columbus Crew SC, his former team who chose to trade him after he spoke out about his dislike for teammate Federico Higuain. After Saturday’s night 3-1 debacle of a loss to the New England Revolution, Kei is probably happy how things worked out.
It didn’t take long for Kamara to get involved in the action. Just three minutes into the match, the striker went up to get on the end of a cross and was followed by the two Columbus center defenders. Michael Parkhurst got a head to the ball, but it fell to a wide open Lee Nguyen. The attacker curled a shot into the top corner and it was 1-0 just like that.
The Revolution continued to press Crew SC, taking the side out of its usual possession rhythm. As the half wore on, the Black & Gold began to settle into the match.
Fourteen minutes in and Columbus had a chance to pull level. Justin Meram’s through ball found Ethan Finlay streaking into the New England penalty area, but Revs goalkeeper Brad Knighton rushed out and stifled the wingers’ shot.
Just before the 30 minute mark, Mohammed Saeid, who was in the starting lineup in place of the injured Federico Higuain, found himself with space and time outside the Revolution penalty area. The attacking midfielder uncorked a shot that forced a diving save from Knighton to keep Crew SC scoreless.
Four minutes later and it was 2-0 for the Revs. The play started with a Nguyen chip over the Black & Gold back line for Kamara. The forward slotted a pass across the penalty area that Wil Trapp slid to deny a tap in, but the midfielder inadvertently put the ball into his own net.
Just before the halftime break, Crew SC found a lifeline. Ola Kamara flipped the Kamara script by taking a through pass from Tony Tchani and slid a shot under Knighton to cut the deficit to 2-1.
Kei nearly gave New England a 3-1 lead in the 56th minute. After a poor back pass from Trapp, Kamara found himself with the ball in the middle of the 18-yard box. Only a recovering Parkhurst blocked the shot twice before goalkeeper Steve Clark was able to punch it over the net.
Kamara was not to be denied though and his goal occured in one of the strangest ways possible. After left back Waylon Francis ran into winger Teal Bunbury inside the penalty box, he waved his arms to tell the official there was no foul. The ball remained in play and center back Chad Barson attempted to clear it, kicking Francis and leaving it on a platter for Kamara to slot home.
Columbus made offensive substitutions and threw numbers forward, but the story was rewritten. Kamara struck back at his former team and kept Crew SC winless in its last five MLS matches.
Next up for the Black & Gold is a meeting with rivals Toronto FC at MAPFRE Stadium on Wednesday night. Columbus hopes a quick turnaround will be what the doctor ordered as the team look to keep this season from going all the way off the tracks.