COLUMBUS, Ohio – Both the Columbus Crew and FC Dallas snapped long scoreless streaks on Saturday night at Crew Stadium. But thanks to goals from Justin Meram and Sebastián Miranda, it was the home side that ran out winners, rallying past 10-man FCD to end a five-game winless streak.
The visitors struck first thanks to Fabián Castillo’s first goal of the season in the 22nd minute, ending a scoreless run for FCD that had reached 231 minutes.
The Colombian speedster took a pass from Brek Shea along the line in front of the Crew bench. After Tony Tchani gave up chase, thinking the ball had gone out of bounds, Castillo continued down the left side, cut toward the box, twisted Eric Gehrig with the dribble then bested Andy Gruenebaum at the near post despite the goalkeeper getting a hand on the shot.
The goal also marked FC Dallas’ first from the run of play in 474 minutes.
But the tenor of the match changed in the second half. FCD went down a man for a second time in three matches in the 63rd minute when Zach Loyd received a second caution for a foul on Meram.
It took the Crew only four minutes to capitalize. Meram, who entered late in the first half after Ethan Finlay left injured, got the ball about 35 yards out after Eric Gehrig stripped the ball from Matt Hedges in the 67th minute.
The second-year man ripped a rising shot for his first goal in 19 career MLS games, and snapped a 263-minute scoreless streak for the Crew.
Five minutes later, Columbus completed their rally thanks to Miranda’s snapped header from 20 yards out off a service by Nemanja Vukovic. It was the Chilean defender’s first goal in 43 games since joining the Crew last season.
The victory gave the Crew the Pioneer Cup, the trophy honoring the late Lamar Hunt, whose family owns and operates both clubs, after FC Dallas took the inaugural award last year.
With the win, Columbus improve to 3-4-2. They next travel to San Jose on May 19.
Meanwhile, FC Dallas fall to 3-6-3 and are now winless in six straight, with three consecutive losses. They next host Philadelphia, also on May 19.
MLSsoccer.com Men of the Match
|Rank||Player||What We Saw|
|1||Justin Meram||Had some dodgy moments, but gave Crew shot in the arm they needed after momentum had slipped away.|
|2||Sebastián Miranda||Chilean veteran showed his class, constantly amid traffic and with sure Goal of the Week nominee winner.|
|3||Fabián Castillo||Finishing isn't his strong suit, but Colombian couldn't have picked a better time for his first goal of 2012.|