Through the first half of the home opener for Chivas USA, they held firm against a Columbus Crew side that has intentions of making waves in the Eastern Conference this season. Playing a scrappy brand of soccer that had earned five different Chivas players yellow cards by the final whistle, the home side kept things level through the first half and into the second before the floodgates opened.
The man knocking down the gates was none other than Federico Higuain, the Argentine attacking maestro who was voted as the Crew’s new team captain on Friday. Rekindling the synergy that he started to form with Costa Rican center forward Jairo Arrieta after arriving in Columbus midway through last season, Higuain bent a long-range shot that fooled Chivas goalkeeper Dan Kennedy and caromed off the post into the net.
Chivas would keep the score close until the match had nearly entered stoppage time. They almost equalized in the 72nd minute, when halftime substitution Juan Agudelo (who did not start the opener due to a contusion in his right foot) marshaling a pass, pivoting and pushing his shot just over the crossbar. After the hosts missed their best attempt at tying things on the scoreboard, Columbus redoubled their offensive efforts.
Josh Williams doubled the score with a deft connection on Eddie Gaven’s corner kick in the 88th minute, deflating whatever comeback momentum may have remained with the home side. A minute from the final whistle, Dominic Oduro added a third. While the result was no longer in doubt, the insurance marker bolstered the Crew’s goal differential early in the season.
COLUMBUS CREW @ CHIVAS USA
Home Depot Center March 2, 2013 Attendance: 7,121
- 51′ — CLB/Federico Higuain (Jairo Arrieta)
- 88′ — CLB/Josh Williams (Eddie Gaven)
- 90’+4 — CLB/Dominic Oduro (unassisted)
- CHV (4-4-2): Dan Kennedy; Laurent Courtois (Bobby Burling/56′), Walter Vilchez, Joaquin Velasquez, Mario de Luna; Giovani Casillas (Miller Bolaños/45′), Edgar Mejia, Marvin Iraheta, Eric Avila; Julio Morales (Juan Agudelo/45′), Tristan Brown
- CLB (4-4-1-1): Andy Gruenebaum; Tyson Wahl, Glauber, Chad Marshall, Josh Williams; Eddie Gaven, Agustin Viana, Danny O’Rourke, Dominic Oduro; Federico Higuain (Tony Tchani/77′); Jairo Arrieta (Ryan Finley/76′)