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Crew stays unbeaten; wins strange and exciting game against New England

MEGASPORTSNEWS.COM GAME COVERAGE

Stuart Mason also contributed to this story

COLUMBUS, OHIO–The Columbus Crew have survived several close calls all season and this past weekend was no exception against Eastern Conference rival, New England.

Saturday’s game was strange and exciting. Strange in the sense that both goal keepers, Preston Burpo of New England and William Hesmer of Columbus looked very shaky in the first half, let easy saves crept in for goals and getting caught out of position several times. Also there was a rarity in the game. There were two goals scored 2:00 minutes apart; 3 goals scored in a span of 5:00 minutes and four goals in 16:00 minutes of play all told. In most soccer games, fans and media may not see four goals total in a game more less four in 16:00 minutes.

Eddie Gaven Crew (mls)

Robbie Rogers Crew (mls)

The New England Revolution scored the game’s first goal as unknown player Zak Boggs making the most of his first MLS start, scored from about 25 yards out in the 29th minute as Crew keeper Will Hesmer trying to dive to smother the ball, let it slip underneath is hands and into the net, 1-0 New England. Boggs’ scored his first career goal on his first career shot; strange play.

But the Crew, showing why they’ve been the league’s best team the last two years, came right back to tie in the 31st minute.

Eddie Gaven, who is deceptively quick, tied the game at 1-1, by firing a headed clearance from about 15 yards out past Revolution keeper Preston Burpo.

Then in the 35th minute, Robbie Rogers shot a cross that was redirected by defender Cory Gibbs, who was sliding and kicked it past his keeper for an own goal that gave the Crew a 2-1 advantage.

In the 40th minute, Zak Boggs scored again as he was able to get Will Hesmer out of position for his 2nd goal on his 2nd career shot and it was 2-2. Boggs was having a career night. How many MLS in the league over the years have scored two goals on their first two career shots? Without checking any stats, not many. Matter-of-fact, one of the Media Relations Directors said off the top of their head, no one had ever done it!

The first half ended up 2-2.

The second half saw both teams trying to sit back and play for the tie which would give the teams a point apiece.

However, Preston Burpo stopped several scoring attempts by the Crew; Eddie Gaven had a heel shot from five yards out that hit the crossbar; there were two other saves off of Gaven shots in the 62nd minute and Steven Lenhart’s breakaway attempt which Burpo came out of the net to stop the shot in the penalty area.

The winning game in the stoppage time after the Revolution defender Darrius Barnes had cleared a header by Jason Geary off the goal line. Rogers pounced on the loose ball and kicked the winner past goal keeper Preston Burpo and into the roof of the net.

The 10, 197 fans in attendance braved the 50 degree temperatures that had a chilly breeze saw the Crew up its record to (3-0-2) and New England drop to (2-5-1).

SOUNDS FROM THE POSTGAME PRESS CONFERENCE (To listen to an audio file, click on the link)

44 930 Steve Nicol New England Coach Performance & Effort was there (Megasportsnews.com)

44 931 Steve Nicol New England Coach Most Consistent Performance in 2010 (megasportsnews.com)

44 933 Steve Nicol New England Coach This lineup now is to get bodies on field (Megasportsnews.com)

44 938 Robert Warzycha Crew Coach Eddie Gaven in Central Midfield is that his position (Megasportsnews.com)

44 940 Robert Warzycha Crew Coach Did the Champions League games help Crew (Megasportsnews.com)

GAME NOTES
* Marko Perovic of New England didn’t play due to being suspended for red car accumulation.

* Danny O’Rourke of Columbus also sat out due to red car infractions.

*New England is 2-5-1 with 7 points, good for 5th place in the Eastern Conference. They are 1-3 on the road.

* The Columbus Crew are 3-0-2 overall and 3-0-0 at home.

* Eddie Gaven of Columbus scored his 35th MLS goal, and the 19th with the Crew.

* Central defender Chad Marshall was back in the lineup after missing last week’s game with a strained hamstring.

* Sergio Herrera made his MLS debut, coming on in place of Steven Lenhart in the 90th minute.

* The Crew returns to action this coming Saturday, May 15th vs. Chivas USA in a match that will kick off at 7:30 p.m. at Crew Stadium. It will be televised live regionally on ONN-TV.

* The Crew uses a 4-1-3-1-1 alignment on the field.

* The New England uses a 4-4-1-1 alignment on the field.

* The Revolution has not won a game since its 4-1 victory over Toronto FC on april 10 at its home opener. They’ve been outscored 9-2 and has a record of 0-4-1.


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