COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Defender Julius James scored the go-ahead goal in the 75th minute and the Columbus Crew overcame a halftime deficit again for a 3-1 victory over the New England Revolution on Saturday night.
James put in a header off a corner kick by Josh Gardner that bounced past goalkeeper Matt Reis.
“I hit it down because I was so close to the goal,” James said. “I didn’t hit it cleanly enough as a laser. I tried to focus on getting it over. Josh put it in an excellent spot for me. All I have to do in that situation is put the ball on target.”
The Crew (10-7-7) remained first in the Eastern Conference and improved to a league-best 2-0-4 when trailing after 45 minutes. Benny Feilhaber gave the Revolution (4-11-9) the lead just before the break on an 18-yard strike after the Crew had dominated possession.
“We played a very solid game,” Crew coach Robert Warzycha said. “Even when we were down 1-0 first half we played very well, especially the first 30 minutes. The first goal came from nowhere but after we did dominate.”
Columbus got the equalizer in the 54th when New England defender Kevin Alston redirected the ball into his own net.
New England (4-11-9) missed a chance to take the lead when a shot by A.J. Soares hit the crossbar and came out.
“We should have gone 2-1 up,” Revolution coach Steve Nicol said. “We hit the bar and it didn’t go in and then they go to the other end. It’s basic. You pick your man on the set piece.”
Emilio Renteria added an insurance goal in the 81st minute when he was unmarked 6 yards in front of the goal for an easy score after taking a pass from Robbie Rogers.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)