Ola Kamara’s brace led the Columbus Crew to a huge 2-0 win over the New England Revolution in Kei Kamara’s return to Mapfre Stadium.
In a match between two clubs fighting for playoff contention below the red line, the Columbus Crew came away with a 2-0 victory at home over the New England Revolution. The Crew came away with a massive three points in this one as the runner-ups in last year’s MLS Cup playoffs look to get back to postseason play. After a rough start to the 2016 campaign, Columbus have put themselves into the thick of things in the Eastern Conference.
This game was all the more interesting because it was Kei Kamara’s first game back in Columbus since being traded earlier this season. Although Kamara never demanded a trade from the Crew, the fans inside the Mapfre Stadium boo’d him with every touch that he made. In a stunning turn of events, this match was decided by goals from a player with the name Kamara but it was Ola rather than Kei.
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The win puts the Columbus Crew closer to the red line with 32 total points (7W-11L-11D) on the year. The loss leaves New England one point behind DC United for the final playoff spot int he East. The Revs have 36 points on the season and a 9W-13L-9D.
Crew attacking midfielder, Justin Meram, had a great shot on goal in the 30′ minute but Brad Knighton made a great save to parry the ball onto the post. Even with previous shots in the match, this was the first real threat from either side. Meram was a bit unlucky to not score after this strike that looked to be perfectly placed into the top corner. It was truly a great save from Knighton.
The difference maker in this match, Ola Kamara, made yet another play when he drew a penalty in the final 10 minutes of the game. The ref gave the controversial and “weak” penalty and Kamara stepped up to bury his 15th goal on the season in the 84′ minute. This was the ninth penalty New England have conceded this year which is more than any other team in MLS.
Even with the somewhat controversial call, the referee did not decide this match. The Crew were the more threatening side all night and they outshot New England 21-9. They also outshot the Revolution 10-5 with shots on target and they Columbus held 54.4% possession.
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Near the end of the match, tempers got heated as the two teams started a bit of a skirmish after a questionable foul by New England’s Scott Caldwell. Luckily, cooler heads prevailed before things got too out of hand.
In their next match, the Columbus Crew will be on the road against DC United on Wednesday, September 28th. That midweek game will be followed by a match against the Chicago Fire on Saturday, October 1st in Columbus. The New England Revolution will return home and be back in action against Sporting KC on Saturday, October 1st.