Sunday, September 2, 2012

Crew Round 26. Win 4th Straight

With a goal in extra-time the Columbus Crew send Montreal Impact home with severely damaged playoff chances. The Crew, on the other hand, are back in a playoff spot on the table for the first time since the end of June.

Some exciting play in the midfield but chances from either side were sparse. Columbus saw less of the ball but were direct and sharp when they did have it.

Things between the two clubs didn't change much from the 1st half. Play was fast and you could tell that both clubs might have at least one goal in them. Turns out they had 3.

Marco Di Vaio started things off when he patiently put away a ball from 6 yards out in the 73'. Sanna Nyassi provided the excellent run down the left deftly splitting a charging Chris Birchall and backpedaling Sebastian Miranda. Nyassi crossed it to Felipe Martins who pushed it on to Di Vaio.

The lead didn't last long, a few minutes later Federico Higuain found Chad Marshall's head on a free kick taken just off the left hand corner of the box.

Around the 80th min you could really tell that some of the 30-something old legs of the Montreal players were turning to concrete.

Just as it did in Philadelphia midweek, when the game moved into extra time things loosened up quite a bit. Both the Crew and Impact knew that 3 pts are needed to jump into the playoffs. In the end (93') it was Federico Hiquain (again) providing a cross against the run of play to a well positioned Emilio Renteria.

It's been a while since the last time the Crew have had this much success over the course of 5 games (since May 2010). And With another win or draw on Wednesday can top 10 game stretches not seen in some time.

What is really telling is that twenty game positive form is not far off. Back in May 2012 the Crew were averaging 0.95 points per game over a 20 game span. That's the worst 20 game form the club had seen since the end of 2007.

Since then the Crew have won 9 of their last 16. The club is marching back to the winning ways of 2010... If things continue we may even see 2009 numbers matched. '09 saw a stretch of 20 games with only 2 losses. August '09 was the last time the Crew saw 5 wins in a row.

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