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Crew gets past arch-rival Chicago 2-1; retains first place in East

MEGASPORTSNEWS.COM GAME COVERAGE

COLUMBUS, OHIO — The game of soccer is strange game at times. Two teams trying to get a big ball past a goalkeeper can be difficult at times and frustrating. Teams can go games at a time and don’t score a goal and play to a tie.

Adam Moffat (MLS photo)

On Saturday night at Crew Stadium, everybody witnessed a strange occurance in the last 4 minutes of the first half. Up until that point, the first 42 minutes there were no goals. But for the next four minutes, 43-47 which included stoppage time, the game was won by Columbus, although at the time, we had no way of knowing that.

Crew players practicing before match (megasportsnews.com)

On the Crew’s first goal, Guillermo Barros Schelotto spotted Jason Garey cutting through the traffic and into the penalty area and hit him perfectly with a pass. Garey touched the ball but Fire goalkeeper Andrew Dykstra came out of the goal to smother the ball to freeze it to get a goal kick. But he couldn’t hold it cleanly and Adam Moffat poked the ball away and put it into the empty net in the 43rd minute for goal number two of the season for midfielder from Scotland.

The crowd of 14,017 were still celebrating when the Chicago Fire got the ball and headed down the field towards the Crew goal. and their midfielder Baggio Husidic sent a hard serve to the far post and Crew captain Frankie Hejduk trying to get back and defend the goal and help goalkeeper Will Hesmer accidentally headed the ball into the goal for an “own goal.” The crowd was shocked as the game was tied at 1-1.

Crew Stadium starting to fill up (megasportsnews.com)

Now we are in the stoppage time and the scoring was not done yet.

The Crew’s Eddie Gaven and Schelotto executive the old give-and-go along the left touchline. Gaven dribbled between two defenders and sent the ball on a flight to the goal area. Jason Garey, slipped in front of  Chicago defender Krzysztof Krol and behind defender Wilman Conde for a diving header in the second minute of  stoppage time and it was 2-1 Columbus Crew and that was the game-winner.

The Crew has won two straight games since the World Cup break ended to improve overall to 8-2-3 (27 points) and a three-point lead in the Eastern Conference over New York. The Red Bulls play at Colorado on Sunday July 4.

SOUNDS FROM THE COLUMBUS CREW POST-GAME LOCKER ROOM (To listen to an audio file, click on the link)

45 214 Adam Moffat Crew His Goal and last 3 minutes of first half (megasportsnews.com)

45 215 Adam Moffat Crew Playing Midfield instead of Right Back (megasportsnews.com)

45 221 Jason Garey Crew Felt good to get the first goal of game (megasportsnews.com)

GAME NOTES

* The Crew is now 8-2-3 on the year, 6-1-0 at home.

* Crew right back Frankie Hejduk returned to action after missing five straight games with a fractured hamstring.

* Columbus had been 0-4-4 against the Fire in Columbus in the regular since July 3, 2004.

* Chicago is 4-4-5 overall and saw their 2-0-3 unbeaten streak come to an end. They currently are 10 points behind the Crew in the East.

* The game was the third of eight games in four weeks, seven which will be played at home for columbus.

* The Crew returns to action on Tuesday, July 6, vs. the Charleston Battery of the USL Second Division in a U.S. Open Cup Quarterfinal match at Crew Stadium at 7:30 p.m.

* The weather was Sunny and 82 degrees in Columbus.

* The Fire has fallen one game short in four of the past five years in getting to the MLS title game. The conference championship is their pet peeve.

* Marco Pappa leads Chicago with 6 goals and Patrick Nyarko leads with 6 assists.

* The Fire is 2-3-2 on the road.

* The Fire has a new head coach this season in former El Salvador national coach Carlos de los Cobos.

* The overall record in the series between Chicago and Columbus is 41 meetings, 11 wins for Columbus, 17 wins for Chicago and 13 ties.

* The Crew is off to its best start in club history for 13 games, 27 points and a record of  8-2-3.

*Saturday night’s game was on the Fox Soccer Channel/FSE and two former Crew players were calling all of the action for a national television audience: Brian Dunseth and Paul Caligiuri.


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