COLUMBUS – Jairo Arrieta stole the spotlight from teammate Federico Higuain, scoring his second goal in the 86th minute to give the Crew a wild 4-3 victory against the Revs on Saturday in front of 13,651 fans at Crew Stadium.
The goal came five minutes after New England substitute Lee Nguyen converted a penalty kick to tie the match.
Arrieta, who celebrated his 29th birthday in style, ran onto a clipped ball from Tony Tchani and slotted it past Matt Reis for his fifth goal in eight games with the Crew since joining the club in late June.
Higuain scored his second and third goals in his third appearance with Columbus since joining as a Designated Player on July 27.
His brace propelled the Crew to a 3-2 advantage but the lead would only stand until the 81st minute. Nguyen calmly scored from the spot after substitute Julius James pulled down Diego Fagundez as the pair battled for the ball. James had entered in the 40th minute when defender Carlos Mendes left due to hamstring strain.
Another substitute factored in the goal as well. Rookie goalkeeper Matt Lampson made his MLS debut in relief of Andy Gruenebaum, who had played every minute this season, but was replaced at the start of the second half after suffering a lower back contusion.
Despite being in goal when Nguyen converted the PK, Lampson made his mark on the match by logging outstanding saves on Jerry Bengtson and Ryan Guy in stoppage time, denying the duo who gave New England an early 2-0 lead.
The Crew (10-8-6, 36 points) went 2-0-2 in a four games over the past 11 days. New England (6-14-5, 23 points) have lost five straight and are 0-7-1 in their past eight games.
It didn’t always look like the home team would prevail, though. It became clear early on that the Crew would have to break the three-goal barrier for the first time this season to collect three points after the Revolution stunned them with two early goals.
But thanks to the dead ball expertise of Higuain, the Crew took a 3-2 lead to the break, with Columbus’ DP sandwiching sublime free-kick goals in the 26th and 43rd minutes around an Arrieta pile driver.
In each instance, Revolution defender Stephen McCarthy fouled Eddie Gaven and Higuain resurrected the ghost of former Crew great and fellow Argentine Guillermo Barros Schelotto.
Higuain’s first strike was from 28 yards and went over the wall to the upper right corner past a diving Matt Reis. The second was a bit further out on the left, but just as powerful a drive, and Reis was once again unable to stop the ball as it hugged the near post just before halftime.
In between, the Crew tied the match in the 32nd minute on a skillfully struck ball by Arrieta after a slick flip pass from Milovan Mirosevic sprung him behind the Revs’ backline, which was looking for an offside call.
First-half goals from Guy, whose deflected strike found the bottom corner, and Sene, who rolled the ball off the post and in after rounding Gruenebaum, forced the Crew into what became a rousing comeback victory.
Both teams are in action Wednesday as the Crew travel to Philadelphia to play the Union and the Revolution host Chivas USA.
MLSsoccer.com Men of the Match
|Rank||Player||What We Saw|
|1||Jairo Arrieta||Higuain may have had the highlights, but Arrieta had more of an impact for a Crew attack that found the right gaps.|
|2||Federico Higuain||Gonzalo who? Higuain put on a dead-ball clinic, striking a pair of technically perfect free kicks.|
|3||Milovan Mirosevic||He won't get plaudits on the scoresheet, but Mirosevic was the Crew's metronome in the midfield.|