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Moreno, Crew stop FC Dallas

Aug 31, 2008 - 4:56 AM By Ken Costlow PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

FRISCO, Texas (Ticker) -- First-half goals by Alejandro Moreno and Eddie Gaven and a strong defensive stand in the second half helped the Columbus Crew post a 2-1 victory over FC Dallas on Saturday.

The result, coupled with New England's draw with Los Angeles, moved Columbus (12-6-4) into first place in the Eastern Conference with 40 points. FC Dallas (6-8-8) remained in third place in the Western Conference with 26 points.

After a relatively quite first 30 minutes, things heated up quickly. In the 35th minute, FC Dallas' Jeff Cunningham scored from 15 yards out to put FC Dallas on top, 1-0. The right-footed shot came off a short cross from Bruno Guarda.

Two minutes later, Moreno leveled the score on a right-footed shot from in front of the Dallas net that beat keeper Dario Sala. Guillermo Barros Schelotto's free kick was headed over to Moreno by Chad Marshall, who was 18 yards in front of the goal.

Gaven moved the Crew ahead, 2-1, in the 40th minute on a header in front off a cross from the left side by Schelotto, his league-leading 16th assist of the season.

"I thought we showed a lot of character in the first half, going down 1-0 and responding right away with two quick goals," Columbus coach Sigi Schmid said. "But that's been the character of our team all season."

Schmid said Schelotto is someone that should be considered for MVP of the league this season. In addition to leading MLS in assists by six over Javier Morales of Real Salt Late, Schelotto is also tops in corner kicks with 105. In MLS' 13-year history, only one player - Carlos Valderrama - has recorded 20 assists in one season.

"The guys know he can make special places, so we try to get him balls in the right positions," Schmid said. "It allows him to make those plays. He's been doing it for us all season. The key thing is getting him into spots where he can make the difference and we've been able to do that on a pretty consistent basis this year."

Nine minutes into the second half, FC Dallas' Dax McCarty's free kick from the left sideline was tipped away by Columbus goalkeeper William Hesmer. Drew Moor also had a header attempt at the Crew goal a minute later, but it sailed high over the crossbar.

"(FC Dallas) were chasing the game and throwing people forward, so we had to bunker in a bit," Columbus defender Frankie Hejduk said. "I think Chad (Marshall) and Andy Iro did a good job of getting the headed balls out and clearing the balls because they were swinging a lot of balls into the box. That's where you need your big guys. It wasn't pretty, but it was effective."

At the 60-minute mark, Dallas' Adrian Serioux set up Kenny Cooper in front, but Cooper's quick right-footed flick was finally controlled by Hesmer.

"This was very disappointing. It was a game I think we could have won," FC Dallas coach Schellas Hyndman said. "We had some good scoring chances, we were creating some problems for (Columbus), and we were at home. We took a lead again and we lost to a team we had a lead on two weeks ago (another 2-1 loss at Columbus).

FC Dallas outshot Columbus, 18-8, but could only put four shots on goal, even with eight corner kicks. Hesmer and Sala made two saves apiece throughout the contest.

  • MLS

    Aug 30 11:01 PM
  • 17
    RUWTbot Added 17 roots (Close Finish)

    Crew SC 2, FC Dallas 1  2nd - 88'Aug 30 10:53 PM

  • MLS

    Aug 30 9:54 PM

    COLUMBUS GOAL: Eddie Gaven in the 40th minute

    Crew SC 2, FC Dallas 1  1st - 40'Aug 30 9:49 PM

    COLUMBUS GOAL: Alejandro Moreno in the 37th minute

    Crew SC 1, FC Dallas 1  1st - 37'Aug 30 9:47 PM

    FC DALLAS GOAL: Jeff Cunningham in the 35th minute

    Crew SC 0, FC Dallas 1  1st - 35'Aug 30 9:43 PM