A second last-minute game-winning goal in as many weeks helped the Columbus Crew to another home victory Saturday night.
The Crew remain unbeaten after defeating Chivas USA 1-0 on a 90th-minute penalty goal from Guillermo Barros Schelotto in front of 15,027 at Crew Stadium.
Crew defender Gino Padula kept the game scoreless by clearing two potential scores on the goal line in the 60th minute.
“I was in the right place at the right time,” Padula said.
Goalie William Hesmer earned his third clean slate for the season, something he thought he would lose on both shots saved by Padula.
“I look up twice and I think it’s a goal both times,” Hesmer said. “But there is Gino to clear it off.”
The game was a tale of two halves that saw Columbus dominating the first and Chivas in command of the second.
“I was happy about the first half,” Crew coach Robert Warzycha said. “The second half was completely different. They came out very, very strong and knocked the ball around. They had the better of the game.”
It was a rough second half for the Crew. After having seven shots (four on goal) to Chivas’ four (none on goal) in the first half, the Crew only managed four shots in the second half (two on goal). Chivas had 10 shots (three on goal) in the second half.
Chivas’ best chance came in the 85th minute, when forward Justin Braun failed to score on a breakaway. Hesmer came off his line to stop Braun’s attack and to pick up the rebound.
“That’s the nature of my job,” Hesmer said. “They’re going to get some chances and good looks on me. That’s my job to come up big.”
Chivas’ scoreless second half became more of a disappointment when Braun dragged down Crew defender Chad Marshall in the box while fighting for a header, resulting in a penalty.
Schelotto fired the penalty past Zach Thornton to give the Crew the lead and victory.
It was not the best game the Crew has played, but Schelotto welcomes any win, even the ugly ones.
“You can’t play pretty every game,” Schelotto said. “But the more important thing is when you don’t play well like we did in the second half and still get the points. We got three points so I’m very happy about that.”
The Crew will now travel to New York to face the first-place Red Bulls in a nationally televised game Thursday on ESPN.