Drilling down on: at New England 2, Columbus 0

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Man of the Match: New England head coach Jay Heaps was looking for more going forward from Diego Fagundez, and he got it. Providing the link between New England’s midfield and attack, the 17-year-old Uruguayan was the main reason New England dominated Wednesday night, outshooting Columbus 20-7. In the 53rd minute, Fagundez got onto a Dimitriy Imbongo flick in the right of the penalty area, his shot off the right post bouncing back to Imbongo, who converted New England’s game-winning goal.

Packaged for takeaway:

  • Late miscommunication between Chad Marshall and Andy Gruenebaum gave New England an insurance goal, though it wasn’t needed. Columbus, so potent during the four-game winning streak they carried into tonight’s match, didn’t mount their serious threat until the 87th minute, when Matt Reis was forced into two nice saves.
  • Both Reis and Steven McCarthy repeated the strong performances they gave this weekend versus Philadelphia.
  • The own goal ruined what was an otherwise strong night from Marshall. Gruenebaum, however, had trouble holding onto to ball, his spilled crosses creating some nervous moments in the first half.
  • While the Revolution deserve credit for keeping Jairo Arrieta and Federico Higuain quiet, Columbus’s midfield did nothing to help. Chris Birchall’s night was foreshadowed by an eighth minute backpass played out for a corner. Milovan Mirosevic looked miscast in such a deep role, providing no resistance to Ryan Guy’s forays forward or Lee Nguyen’s runs inside.
  • Once you factor in Marshall’s role on the own goal, you’re left with nobody on Columbus’s team who had a better than average night. The attackers were froze out. The midfielders were ineffectual. The defense conceded two goals which could have been prevented, while Gruenebaum looked shaky. It’s not the type of performance you’d expect from a team with a chance to go a third with a victory.
  • Instead, Columbus stays tied with Houston for fourth in the East, having given back the match in hand they held on the Dynamo and sixth place D.C. United.
  • New England, on the other hand, earns their first victory in nearly two months, snapping a 10-match winless run that dated back to July 8.