The New England Revolution had seen this scenario just a week ago: Score two first half goals, allow a late goal before half time.
But unlike that road game in Montreal that would end in a 2-3 loss, the Revs were able to add to their lead and seemed in control from the start against Columbus Crew SC in a 3-1 win.
Lee Nguyen got things started off with what should be a surefire Goal of the Week winner in just the third minute.
Absolute ROCKET. #NERevshttps://t.co/HLI00XZWZx— NewEnglandRevolution (@NERevolution) July 9, 2016
However, it was Columbus that nearly answered back about 10 minutes later when Justin Meram sent a perfectly weighted pass behind the Revs defense only to have Ethan Finlay's shot saved at the near post by Brad Knighton.
As in many recent Revs-Crew games, the match became increasingly chippy as the half wore on, with London Woodberry, Tony Tchani and Andrew Farrell all picking up first half yellow cards. Kei Kamara wanted a penalty at the half hour mark when he was pulled back though Mark Geiger did not point to the spot.
In the 34th minute the Revolution would double their lead when Wil Trapp redirected a Kei Kamara cross into his own net. Kelyn Rowe was streaking unmarked towards the goal and it's likely he would've had a shot into a wide open net had Trapp not intervened. The build up to that goal was very solid, with Tierney, Kei and Lee all combining before Kamara's eventual "assist."
However the Revolution for the second time in as many weekends would give up a late goal in the first half. Like the early Finlay play, it was a simple pass that broke down the Revs backline and Ola Kamara would finish under a sliding Knighton to make the score 2-1 in the 42nd minute.
While the Revs would be out possessed by about 60-40% in this game, their high pressure really limited Columbus throughout the match and especially in the first half. The Crew would also out-shoot the Revs in this game (16-13 total and 5-3 on goal) but the early lead would prove to be too much for Columbus to fully recover from.
But the Crew wouldn't make it easy for the Revs, and a 52nd minute cross from Waylon Francis caused problems for the Revs though Ola Kamara didn't get a clean look at the ball in the end. In the 56th minute Teal Bunbury streaked into the box and found a wide open Kei Kamara though the Revs striker had a shot blocked and a potential follow up chance pushed over the bar by Steve Clark. It should have been the Revs 3rd goal but the Revs wouldn't have to wait too long for that to happen.
Although the way in which the Revs got that third goal was very harsh to Columbus, as a mix up on the backline lead to a wide open chance for Kei Kamara who blasted home against his old team.
You can see the exact moment Barson's heart breaks in half. #NEvCLB pic.twitter.com/vy6zh8L4Zm— Matthew Doyle (@MLSAnalyst) July 10, 2016
It was a deserved third goal for the Revs who were finally rewarded for their high press in the second half as the former Crew striker restored New England's two goal advantage.
Despite the deficit the Crew nearly clawed their way back into the game in stoppage time when Trapp unleashed a wicked shot from long range only to be denied by the post with Knighton at full stretch.
With the win the Revolution jump above the red line and into 6th place in the East standings though DC United and Orlando City SC are just one point behind with game(s) in hand. New England travels to Real Salt Lake next weekend before returning home to host the Philadelphia Union midweek in the US Open Cup at Harvard Stadium.