Columbus 3 - Galaxy 2

Despite being a man down for over an hour, the Columbus Crew walked out of the Home Depot Center with three points after outlasting Los Angeles by a score of 3-2. Two former Galaxy players figured prominently in the victory for Columbus, leaving Galaxy fans disappointed once again.

The visitors would get the first chance seven minutes in when Eddie Gaven found himself with the ball on his feet in the box. Galaxy keeper Joe Cannon, however, was perfectly positioned to make the save.

In the 15th minute, Guillermo Barros Schelotto had to be grabbed from behind after splitting two Galaxy defenders on the right side. On the ensuing free kick, Chad Marshall rose above the crowd and headed the ball down and into the corner of the net to give Columbus a 1-0 lead. Schelotto has now registered an assist in five straight games, the longest such streak in MLS this season.

The Galaxy tried to answer only one minute later when new acquisition Chris Klein tried to bend a shot into the top corner. Crew stopper Will Hesmer, surprised by the shot, could only manage to get his fingers on the ball to parry it over the crossbar.

Los Angeles had another prime opportunity to pull even in the 24th minute. Off a Kyle Martino corner kick, the ball got knocked around in the box by several players, ultimately finding its way to Cobi Jones. The MLS icon turned and fired, but his shot was blocked in front of the goal and rolled away from danger.

Seconds later, referee Michael Kennedy whistled Crew defender Marcos Gonzalez for shoving down the Galaxy’s Abel Xavier during a corner kick and signaled to the penalty spot. With usual PK-taker Landon Donovan still away on national team duty, Kyle Martino was chosen to take the kick but Hesmer guessed correctly by diving to his left to smother the shot.

Just before the half-hour mark, Columbus’ Ezra Hendrickson made a violent challenge on Kevin Harmes in midfield. He was shown a straight red-card for the tackle, giving the Galaxy a man-advantage for the remainder of the game.

In the 38th minute, Columbus would get their own chance from the penalty spot after Kyle Veris cut down Eddie Gaven inside the Galaxy box. Ned Grabavoy, another one-time member of the Galaxy, stepped up, aiming to give the Crew a two-goal edge, but two-time Goalkeeper of the Year Joe Cannon made the save, keeping Los Angeles in the game, down by only one at halftime.

After the break, Grabavoy would get his revenge. Eddie Gaven slipped a pass around substitute defender Troy Roberts, finding Grabavoy wide open in a one-on-one situation with Cannon. This time, Cannon could not come up with the save, allowing the Crew to stretch the lead to two.

Needing to answer quickly, the Galaxy pushed forward. Six minutes past an hour, their efforts would pay off as Cobi Jones found substitute Gavin Glinton racing into the box. Former USL standout Glinton got airborne to meet Cobi’s cross and slammed the ball home, cutting the deficit to one with plenty of time remaining.

With time winding down, Pete Vagenas’ free kick in the 82nd minute was inches from knotting the game, scraping the top of the net as it traveled past a frozen Will Hesmer.

But Columbus would put the game away just two minutes later, scoring off a corner kick for the second time in the match. Putting the final touches on the Crew win was Alejandro Moreno, who made 61 appearances with the Galaxy from 2002-2004. Moreno’s header put the final nail in the coffin, giving Columbus their second win in a week.

The Galaxy’s Edson Buddle would add a goal in stoppage time to make the Crew sweat out the final minutes. It was his second goal in as many games since joining the club, but couldn’t rescue the club from the jaws of defeat.

CLB – Chad Marshall (Guillermo Barros Schelotto) 15’
CLB – Ned Grabavoy (Eddie Gaven, Duncan Oughton) 58’
LAG – Gavin Glinton (Cobi Jones, Chris Klein) 66’
CLB – Alejandro Moreno (Eddie Gaven) 84’
LAG – Edson Buddle 91’+

LAG – Joe Cannon, Ty Harden, Kevin Harmse, Chris Klein, Nate Jaqua (Gavin Glinton 55), Cobi Jones, Edson Buddle, Quavas Kirk (Peter Vagenas 46), Kyle Veris (Troy Roberts 52), Abel Xavier, Kyle Martino

CLB – Will Hesmer, Danny O’Rourke, Marcos Gonzalez, Guillermo Barros Schelotto (Rusty Pierce 56), Duncan Oughton, Alejandro Moreno (Kei Kamara 93+), Ned Grabavoy (Jason Garey 78), Eddie Gaven, Chad Marshall, Stefani Miglioranzi, Ezra Hendrickson (red card – 29)

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