Jairo Arietta scored two first-half goals in his MLS debut, leading the Columbus Crew to a 2-1 victory over Sporting Kansas City on Saturday night.
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Arietta, who joined the Crew (8-7-4) at midseason from Costa Rican club Deportivo Saprissa, scored in the 17th and 34th minutes. Columbus finished the match a man down after Cole Grossman was issued a straight red card in second-half stoppage time for a hard foul on Graham Zusi.
Sporting (11-7-4) could have moved back into the Eastern Conference lead with a victory, but saw its home winless streak extended to four matches since a 2-0 victory over Toronto FC on June 16.
Kei Kamara scored on a header off Graham Zusi’s free kick in the 8th minute, ending Kansas City’s goalless streak at home at 333 minutes, but Arietta equalized nine minutes later with a shot from 12 yards after a through ball from Josh Williams.
Zusi’s errant backpass led to Arietta’s second goal, as he tracked down the ball and shot past Sporting keeper Jimmy Nielsen from distance.
Andy Gruenebaum made five saves for the Crew, two of those to deny Teal Bunbury on a breakaway in the 65th minute.