Dallas Soccer DFW

Crew top FC Dallas in Hunt tribute match

Published 3/12/2007 10:58:41 AM by Steve Hunt from MLSnet.com Staff

Frisco, Texas -- The Columbus Crew exploded for two goals in a four-minute span early in the second half, before adding a late third to claim the inaugural Lamar Hunt Pioneer Cup with a 3-0 victory against FC Dallas before a crowd of 6,525 at Pizza Hut Park on Sunday evening.

Crew midfielder Joseph Ngwenya beat FCD goalkeeper Shaka Hislop far post in the 58th minute to give the Crew a 1-0 edge. Just four minutes later, Kei Kamara got the better of Hislop, his shot also going far post, to double the Columbus advantage.

Columbus added a third goal in the 86th minute when Aaron Chandler scored off a shot that was initially stopped by Hislop, but still managed to trickle into the back of the net.

FCD got the first legitimate scoring chance of the match in the fifth minute when the Hoops were awarded a free kick just outside the Crew penalty area. Kenny Cooper stepped up and hit a bending rocket that went just to the left of Columbus goalkeeper Andy Gruenebaum.

Then, in the eighth minute, Hoops midfielder Ramon Nunez worked his way free to the left of the Crew goal from about 17 yards out, but his shot was right at Gruenebaum and the rookie 'keeper was there for the save.

Columbus got its first chance of the evening in the 11th minute. Midfielder Duncan Oughton took his side's first corner kick of the game, but Hislop was perfectly positioned at the far post for the save. In the 15th minute, Kamara pulled a nice shake-and-bake move to the left of the FCD goal. He hit an absolute blast from about 15 yards out, but his effort was a bit offline and went wide left.

Nunez figured into another FCD scoring chance in the 20th minute. The fourth-year midfielder dashed up the right side of the field and sent a well-placed cross into the middle of the Columbus box, where Cooper and Carlos Ruiz were waiting. But in an apparent case of miscommunication, the two Hoops forwards collided and the ball skidded away from the danger zone.

The Hoops had a flurry of other efforts, mainly coming through Nunez. The FCD midfielder took a free kick in the 32nd minute, but it was deflected by a Crew defender. In the 35th, a well-placed Nunez corner was sent through the box, but went untouched.

Then in the 36th minute, on yet another corner, Nunez tapped it to Ruiz, who sent it to the center of the box, where Hoops center back Clarence Goodson was waiting. Goodson's effort however was directed right at Gruenebaum.

The Crew's starting 11 was bolstered by the return of Frankie Hejduk after missing nearly a year of action following a torn knee ligament suffered late last April. The U.S. international made his presence felt on several occasions in the first half.

In the 29th minute, Hejduk laid a ball off to Oughton about eight yards from the opposing net, but his shot went wide left. Then in the 43rd, after an Oughton corner, Ngwenya sent a ball into the box to Hejduk, who sent a lob toward the goal with his back to the net, but Hislop was perfectly placed to make the save. The Crew outshot FC Dallas 5-4 in the first half.

Goodson did not return for the second half after suffering a strained hamstring in the opening 45 minutes. Replacing him in the middle was Alex Yi, with Bobby Rhine entering the match for FCD to take Yi's spot at right back.

FCD also got some disconcerting injury news on Sunday when the results came back on an MRI on left back Chris Gbandi, last year's FCD defender of the year. He will miss four to six weeks with a grade two sprain of his left ankle, an injury that was suffered during a game against FCD's Brazilian partner Clube Atletico Paranaense on Wednesday in Curitiba, Brazil.

Early in the second half, Nunez continued his run of good play and nearly drew first blood for the home side when he knocked a booming lob toward the Crew goal, but the wind caught his effort and sent it wide left.

Columbus came right back with two great chances of their own. In the 51st, Ngwenya broke free on the left side of the box and sent a scorcher toward the goal, but his shot hit the post and caromed away from danger.

But Ngwenya struck paydirt in the 58th. After a blast by Danny O'Rourke hit the crossbar, the rebound caromed out to Ngwenya and he put it past Hislop to the far side of the net to make it 1-0. Assisting on the goal was Crew midfielder Stefani Miglioranzi, whose rights were acquired from the Los Angeles Galaxy in January.

Miglioranzi assisted on the second Columbus goal as well, tapping the ball to Kamara in the 62nd minute, who was to the right of the FCD goal. The native of Sierra Leone converted inside the far post, giving the Crew a 2-0 advantage.

Rookie Robbie Rogers made his debut for the Crew, coming on his 76th minute. Rogers, whose rights were won by the Crew in a lottery on Thursday, was signed to a developmental contract by Columbus last week and was a standout on the U.S. under-20 national team. FCD will face the Chicago Fire next Saturday evening in Norman, Okla., in their next preseason action. That game will take place on the campus of the University of Oklahoma. Columbus will take on the University of California-Santa Barbara on Thursday.

Columbus Crew (1-0-0) vs. FC Dallas (0-1-0)
March 11, 2007 -- Pizza Hut Park

Scoring Summary:
CLB -- Joseph Ngwenya 1 (Stefani Miglioranzi ) 58
CLB -- Kei Kamara 1 (Stefani Miglioranzi ) 62
CLB -- Aaron Chandler 1 (Ned Grabavoy 3, Stefani Miglioranzi 1) 86

Columbus Crew -- Andy Gruenebaum, Marcos Gonzalez, Frankie Hejduk (Ned Grabavoy 46), Ezra Hendrickson, Rusty Pierce (Tim Ward 69), Brad Evans (Stefani Miglioranzi 46), Joseph Ngwenya (Robbie Rogers 65), Danny O'Rourke (Danny Szetela 78), Duncan Oughton (Brandon Moss 46), Eddie Gaven (Aaron Chandler 81), Kei Kamara (Jason Garey 65),
Substitutes Not Used: Marc Burch, Bill Gaudette, Ben Hunter, Ryan Junge, Chad Marshall

FC Dallas -- Shaka Hislop, Clarence Goodson (Bobby Rhine 46), Drew Moor, Blake Wagner (David Wagenfuhr 69), Alex Yi, Dax McCarty (Richard Mulrooney 67), Ramon Nunez (Abe Thompson 76), Aaron Pitchkolan (Anthony Wallace 67), Kenny Cooper, Roberto Mina (Dominic Oduro 67), Carlos Ruiz,
Substitutes Not Used: Ray Burse, Andrew Daniels, Michael Dello-Russo
© www.SoccerDFW.com 2020