Chivas USA 1, Crew 2Jun 15, 2009 - 12:41 AM COLUMBUS, Ohio (STATS) - Last year, Guillermo Barros Schelotto was the primary playmaker in helping the Columbus Crew win their first MLS Cup in franchise history.
This year, the reigning MLS' Most Valuable Player has become their go-to goal-scorer.
Schelotto continued his goal-scoring binge with two tallies in the second half as the Crew rallied for a 2-1 victory over Chivas USA on Sunday afternoon and extended their unbeaten streak to nine matches.
The Argentine forward led the league last year with 19 assists as the Crew (4-2-7) finished with the best record in the MLS and won the Supporters' Shield before claiming the MLS Cup. Following an 0-2-2 start, Schelotto has scored eight goals in helping Columbus go 4-0-5 to climb into a three-way tie for third in the Eastern Conference, just three points out of first.
"His goals wouldn't happen without the other players," Crew coach Robert Warzycha said of Schelotto. "Give credit to the other players. He is at the right place at the right time. I think this season he is playing better, I think he is sharper than last year."
After tying the match at 1 in the 61st minute, Schelotto provided the game-winner in the 87th minute. He calmly settled a pass sent into the penalty box by Gino Padula and slotted a shot past Chivas goalkeeper Zach Thornton into the lower left corner for his MLS-leading 10th goal and second consecutive two-goal game.
The inability to mark Schelotto clearly frustrated Chivas coach Preki, who has seen his team lose three of its last four matches.
"The guy is all over the field and he is crafty," he said. "We talk about not giving him those moments and great players find ways to find these moments. Is it due to his good play or our bad play?
"At the end of the day, we didn't play well. We lost to a team in the second half. I thought we played better in the first half and they played better in the second half."
Despite the loss, Chivas (8-4-3) remained tied with idle Houston for the Western Conference lead. Chivas, which will participate in the SuperLiga and does not have an MLS match until its derby match with Los Angeles on July 11, played without defender Jonathan Bornstein and midfielder Sacha Kljestan, who are with the U.S. national team for the Confederations Cup in South Africa.
"We've got some time to figure it out right now, and we better do it," Chivas defender Carey Talley said. "The SuperLiga tournament will be a good opportunity for us to go in and play against some Mexican teams and Chicago and I think it'll be a good time for us to get our confidence back."
Eduardo Lillingston opened the scoring in the 39th minute by taking advantage of a poor back pass by Padula, beating Crew defender Eric Brunner to the ball and forcing Crew goalkeeper Andy Gruenebaum off his line. The Mexican striker eluded a sliding Gruenebaum at the top of the penalty area and tapped home the ball from six yards into an empty net.
Schelotto drew Columbus even in the second half. A goal kick by Gruenebaum took a high bounce towards the Chivas net, and Schelotto shielded Talley off the ball before running onto it and slotting a right-footed shot from 12 yards under Thornton.
Including last year's playoffs, Columbus has a 17-match unbeaten streak (12-0-5) at Crew Stadium.
COLUMBUS 2 FINAL
Jun 14 4:59 PM
- MLS UPDATE
COLUMBUS GOAL: Guillermo Barros Schelotto in the 87th minute
Chivas USA 1, Crew SC 2 2nd - 87'Jun 14 4:49 PM
- MLS UPDATE
COLUMBUS GOAL: Guillermo Barros Schelotto in the 62nd minute
Chivas USA 1, Crew SC 1 2nd - 62'Jun 14 4:24 PM
COLUMBUS 0 HALFTIME
Jun 14 3:53 PM
- MLS UPDATE
CHIVAS GOAL: Eduardo Lillingston in the 39th minute
Chivas USA 1, Crew SC 0 1st - 39'Jun 14 3:46 PM
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