Thursday, September 20, 2012

Crew Round 29, 89th Minute Win

Columbus takes all three points at home after some late game dramatics, 1:0.

I was in the south stands so can't comment much more then to say the first 30 minutes of the half looked pretty even. From there, Chivas seemed to settle back a little and tried to control the match from the midfield.

(The game is locked on MLS Live till tomorrow night.)

(Moved to my perch in the upper east stands and had a better view.) Chivas looked organized and didn't look like a bottom of the table team but they did struggle to get the ball into attacking positions. A quick check of the stats says they only were able to get 2 shots off in the 2nd half.

Chivas seemed pretty content to play for the draw, which is weird. The good thing for Crew fans was that Coach Robert Warzycha was not content with a draw. He must have sensed that Chivas was dropping back and made a fairly uncharacteristic sub before the 60' mark (Emilio Renteria for Dilly Duka). Ten minutes later he brought on another that changed the pace of the match, Tony Tchani for Milovan Mirosevic.

Tchani played much more aggressive going forward then Mirosevic and was sharper with his distribution. The Crew started to look dangerous and the team with more to lose. Finally, in the 80th minute Justin Meram was inserted for what looked to be an injured Eddie Gaven.

Subbing three attacking players in against a team who didn't appear interested in going forward proved to be the best course of action. The match was headed for a draw had Warzycha not. Instead the Crew were able to get a goal in the 89th minute. Just about everyone on the team contributed to Justin Meram's goal. Jairo Arrieta, it should be mentioned, took a foot to the face - while he was heading a ball - while flat on his back - for a credited assist.

Tony Tchani really changed the match. He can be frustrating sometimes with his poor distribution but last night he grew into the game quickly, he was a technical and physical presence.

• Crew finally get a shutout after 10 game dry spell. This same thing happened at the end of last year, incidentally (Aug. 5th, 2011 to Oct. 2nd 2011, 10 games).

• The Crew have some nasty habits and/or patterns (be it Warzycha or his staff) late in seasons.

Emilio Renteria has taken his new roll and new position in stride. This is important to the team in so many ways.

Danny O'Rourke was solid. His health is key.

• Nice night for Federico Higuain but you have to wonder about that "injection" Dr. R. Warzycha is talking about. Those things don't heal you, they aleviate the pain while it heals. Keep an eye on that.

• Columbus had some players out there at the end that just wanted it more then Chivas. Namely; Jairo Arrieta, Justin Meram, Tony Tchani and Josh Williams.

• Almost 14k fans on a Wednesday in Columbus. Two teams higher up the table in NY and KC only drew 10k (in New Jersey).

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