CODY COUSINO / Photo editor
A six-game winless and a three-game losing streak had left the Columbus Crew’s playoff hopes fading, and the team was in need of some luck.
“Lady Luck” made an appearance for the final regular season home game Sunday at Crew Stadium, as Columbus rallied to defeat D.C. United, 2-1.
The Crew mproved its record to 12-12-8, and, with 44 points, is now in second place and in position to qualify for one of the conference’s three automatic berths for the MLS Cup playoffs.
Coach Robert Warzycha said snapping the winless streak gave this win a little bit more meaning than most.
“We were waiting a long time for wins,” he said. “So, the taste is sweeter.”
A diving header from Columbus midfielder Eddie Gaven in the 60th minute proved to be the game-winning goal. Crew defender Sebastian Miranda split two defenders near midfield and streaked up the sideline before sending in the cross that met Gaven’s head and eventually the back of the net.
“I don’t even know why I even tried to head that ball,” said a chuckling Gaven after the game. “I probably should have just hit it with my foot. But (Miranda) made a great run down the right flank and played me a perfect ball. I just kind of threw my neck at it and luckily it went in.”
Columbus created several scoring opportunities early, outshooting D.C. United 11-3 in the first half. But it was the visitors who struck first, taking a 1-0 lead in the 37th minute when D.C. United defender Daniel Woolard finished off a free-kick from midfielder Dwayne De Rosario.
A shot from Columbus forward Andres Mendoza deflected off Woolard’s left leg and into the back of the net for an own goal, leveling the game, 1-1, in the 48th minute.
“We haven’t had too much luck the past two games or so,” Gaven said. “But if you go out there and you work hard, luck is going to come your way a little bit. That’s kind of how it went for us tonight.”
When asked if Gaven’s header was the goal of the year so far for the team, Warzycha said no and that there are more memorable goals coming for his team.
“Oh I hope not,” he said. “I hope there’s more to come so then we can choose from those.”
The Crew finish the regular season with road games on Oct. 15 and 22 against the New England Revolution and the Chicago Fire, respectively.