Recap: Crew vs. Revolution
The Columbus Crew staged a second-half comeback on the New England Revolution to earn a 2-2 draw at Gillette Stadium on Saturday, restoring their lead atop the Eastern Conference.
New England looked well on their way to securing the points after Pat Phelan handed the Revs the lead after two minutes. Shalrie Joseph doubled the lead by slotting home the Revs' first penalty kick of the season after 56 minutes.
But Steven Lenhart pulled a goal back for the Crew six minutes later to set the stage for a grandstand finish. Guillermo Barros Schelotto then hit the tying penalty kick with 10 minutes to play and left the Revs to rue a second straight game in which they squandered a two-goal lead.
The Revs got off to a dream start in the second minute. Columbus reacted slowly as Marko Perovic swung a free kick into the penalty area from the left wing.
Phelan ghosted in at the near post and slid home his second goal of the campaign with the outside of his right foot to give New England its second early goal in as many games.
New England doubled their lead from the penalty spot 10 minutes later with a sweeping three-man counterattack applying the pressure. Ilija Stolica led the charge down the middle before playing the ball out to Kenny Mansally on the left.
The Gambian's inch-perfect ball found Perovic at the near post, but the Serbian elected to backheel for Stolica. The Revolution forward couldn't get his effort off, but Crew defender Andy Iro bundled him over to give the home side its first penalty of the season.
Joseph stepped up and pounded his attempt into the upper left corner to hand New England a two-goal lead.
Lenhart pulled a goal back for the Crew six minutes later. Barros Schelotto played Shaun Francis into space on the left wing and the Jamaican fullback served up a tantalizing ball to the near post. Lenhart beat Gibbs to the spot at the near post to head home his sixth goal of the season and slice the deficit in half.
Schelotto completed the comeback with 10 minutes to play after he converted the second penalty kick award of the night.
Joseph stood out as the guilty party after he handled Eddie Gaven's shot on its way toward goal and Schelotto stepped up to slot home his eighth goal of the season to ensure the Crew received a share of the spoils.
Columbus will have to wait until next weekend for a chance to clinch a playoff berth at home against San Jose after a midweek trip to Guatemala to take on Municipal in the CONCACAF Champions League.
New England staved off elimination, but host reigning champs Real Salt Lake on Oct. 2.
NE -- Pat Phelan 2 (Marko Perovic 2) 2
NE -- Shalrie Joseph 2 (unassisted) 56
CLB -- own goal (Cory Gibbs) 62
CLB -- Guillermo Barros Schelotto 8 (penalty kick) 80
NE -- Marko Perovic (caution; Dissent) 37
CLB -- William Hesmer (caution; Lack of Respect for Game) 46
CLB -- Shaun Francis (caution; Reckless Tackle) 72
CLB -- Kevin Burns (caution; Dissent) 88
NE -- Pat Phelan (caution; Reckless Foul) 94+
Columbus Crew -- William Hesmer, Andy Iro, Eric Brunner, Frankie Hejduk, Emmanuel Ekpo (Andres Mendoza 73), Eddie Gaven, Kevin Burns, Brian Carroll, Shaun Francis, Steven Lenhart (Adam Moffat 87), Guillermo Barros Schelotto.
Substitutes Not Used: Dilly Duka, Jason Garey, Leandre Griffit, Duncan Oughton, Andy Gruenebaum.
New England Revolution -- Matt Reis, Kevin Alston (Emmanuel Osei 34), Darrius Barnes, Cory Gibbs, Seth Sinovic (Zack Schilawski 86), Sainey Nyassi, Shalrie Joseph, Pat Phelan, Kenny Mansally, Ilija Stolica (Khano Smith 70), Marko Perovic.
Substitutes Not Used: Kheli Dube, Jason Griffiths, Bobby Shuttleworth.
Referee: Paul Ward
Referee's Assistants: Cameron Blair; James Conlee
4th Official: Jorge Gonzalez
Time of Game: 1:53
Weather: Partly Cloudy and 74 degrees