After having a week of rest, Columbus Crew 2 was back in action on Sunday afternoon, taking on the New England Revolution II at Gillette Stadium. With both teams sitting at the top of the Eastern Conference standings, it was an important game where the Crew ultimately came out on top with a 4-0 win.
This victory marks the fifth victory of the year in six games for the Black & Gold and establishes Columbus as the top team in the Eastern Conference in MLS NEXT Pro.
There were spurts of a strong attack for Crew 2 in the first 10 minutes of the match, but no goals came from the early positive play.
Just 12 minutes into the game, however, the Black & Gold found the back of the net after a corner kick made it all the way through the penalty kick. The ball found the foot of captain and midfielder Marco Micaletto who finished on the half volley to give Columbus a 1-0 lead.
Micaletto, honing down on the Revolution II defense, almost had a second goal shortly after but the shot was directed right to the Revolution keeper.
Jacen Russell-Rowe almost made it 2-0 in the 32nd minute, when the Crew II forward had a good chance but his ensuing shot went high and wide of the frame.
The Black & Gold eventually doubled their lead in the 36th minute when forward Noah Fuson’s shot on goal took a deflection and found its way to the back of the net. This was Fuson’s second goal of the young season.
The Crew then went up 3-0 in the 38th minute, marking the team’s highest-scoring game. This finish came when Russell-Rowe went 1 v. 1 with the New England goalkeeper and was able to slot the ball home.
A three-goal first half lead didn’t stop Columbus. The Black & Gold found another goal, making it 4-0 in the 43rd minute. Fuson claimed his second of the match, volleying home a cross into the top corner of the net.
Head Coach Laurent Courtois’s side maintained that 4-0 lead as both teams went to their respective locker rooms following the halftime whistle.
Crew 2 started the second half with a plethora of changes, but the team wasn’t able to build on a first half filled with goals. The Black & Gold only had a handful of opportunities in the second 45 minutes to extend their lead, spending much of the half playing conservatively and allowing the Revolution to have possession.
A dominant performance by the MLS NEXT Pro side kept Columbus atop of the Eastern Conference, as the team left Foxborough with all three points and extend its winning streak to five games. The Crew remains on the road next weekend, taking on New York City FC II on Sunday.