Columbus Crew SC moved into first place in the Eastern Conference on Saturday night with a 1-0 win over the New England Revolution at MAPFRE Stadium, their second triumph over the Revs already this MLS regular season.
Center back Josh Williams' headed flick in the 42nd minute gave Crew SC a lead they would not relinquish. It was Williams' first goal of the season, teed up by Federico Higuain's excellent service toward the near post with his free kick. The assist was Higuain's 61st for Columbus, equalling a club record.
New England would go down a man in the second half, as Michael Mancienne was shown a red card for his two-footed sliding challenge of Higuain. But the Revs upped the tempo with 10 men and found their best scoring opportunity in the 89th minute, when substitute Cristian Penilla scrambled to reach a loose ball in front of the six-yard box. Crew SC goalkeeper Zack Steffen was there to deny the Ecuadorian forward, securing a fourth win in six games for the home side.
- 42' - Columbus Crew - Josh Williams | WATCH
- THE BIG PICTURE: With a D.C. United loss Saturday afternoon, Columbus catapult to the top of the East and are just three off LAFC's blistering pace for the Supporters' Shield. Crew SC are unbeaten at home across all competitions since June of last year, outscoring opponents 19-8 with a 10-0-2 record during that stretch.
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: Williams' winner, set up by Teal Bunbury's foul committed five yards from the left sideline in the Revolution defensive third. Higuain picked out his man running between defenders, and all Williams had to do was redirect the service toward the far post.
- MAN OF THE MATCH: In a tightly-played matchup that saw just five shots on target between the two sides, it was Higuain who had a hand in two of the biggest moments of the evening: Williams' goal and Mancienne's sending off. The Crew SC playmaker gave Mancienne fits throughout the contest, drawing a first booking for the English defender in the first half.