The Revs beat the Crew Saturday evening to keep their playoff hopes very much alive, while destroying those of the Crew (they’re out).
After the first five minutes or so of the first half, the Revs took control until the break. They were rewarded when A.J. Soares scored a nice set-piece goal on a great feed by Kelyn Rowe. The Crew had slightly the better of the play for most of the intense second half. The very intensity of the play was responsible for some sloppy play by both teams – giveaways caused by bad passing or mindless dribbling, especially in midfield. The artificial turf also contributed to the slop. On the other hand, the half was made exciting by the fact that four goals were scored, two by each team, for a final score of 3-2 Revs.
All five goals in the game resulted at least partly from sub-par defensive play. Soares’ header off a Kelyn Rowe free kick followed a completely unnecessary foul by Crew midfielder Ethan Finlay in the 32nd minute of the game. Yes, Andy Dorman was in a dangerous area about 25 yards from the goal, but he was actually dribbling away from it when Finlay knocked his feet out from under him. Big mistake by Finlay – basically, a stupid foul.
On the second goal, Dominic Oduro, who as a 12-goal scorer might really merit close marking, especially in the penalty area, scored a strong shot that was essentially a gift from bad man-marking by Chris Tierney. A ball-watching Tierney completely lost track of the wide-open Oduro five yards behind him. When Oduro received a pass in the area, Tierney’s panicked sliding tackle was far too late to keep Oduro from sinking his shot.
But turnabout is fair play. Tierney scored the third goal on a penalty shot, once again the result of a senseless defensive mistake, this time by Tony Tchani. Andy Dorman again got clipped from behind in the penalty area, again while he was moving away from the goal instead of towards it.
The Crew’s second goal came with Schoenfeld’s nice quick turn and shot past a closely-marking Jose Goncalves. The goal was obviously well taken, but Goncalves looked kind of on his heels for a guy who is being touted as the best defender in the league. This may have been a result of his lining up too closely on the forward’s back, leaving himself easily beaten by the fast turn.
The game-winner was scored by Diego Fagundez, a Rev in the same goal-scoring class as Oduro, yet he too was ignored by a ball-watching defender (Tchani) as he made a clever crossing run into an unmolested position in front of the goal.
All the Revs have to do now is tend to business in their repeat performance against the Crew next Saturday, and they should be in the playoffs.