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New England Revolution 3, Columbus Crew SC 1 | 2016 MLS Match Recap

In the Battle of the Kamaras, both Kei and Ola each scored a goal, but ultimately it was Kei's New England Revolution who got the win, 3-1, over Columbus Crew SC Saturday night in Foxborough, picking up three precious points that ended a three-game losing streak in league play and lifted them into a playoff position in the Eastern Conference standings.

The pre-match hype centered around Revolution striker Kei Kamara playing his first game against his former club since Columbus traded him to the Revolution just before the May 11 trade deadline. The trade had come on the heels of his critical post-match comments about teammate Federico Higuain following Crew SC's 4-4 draw against the Montreal Impact May 7. Kei had played all 90 minutes in all seven league games for the Revs since joining the team, and had scored two goals (both in the 3-2 loss to Montreal July 2), with no assists. Meanwhile, his replacement in Columbus, Ola Kamara (no relation) had scored seven goals in seven matches (six starts) since the trade.

New England got on the board early on a Lee Nguyen goal in the third minute, and doubled their lead in the 34th when Kei Kamara's centering pass was knocked in by Columbus midfielder Wil Trapp for an own goal. But just as the Revs looked to be dominating, Ola Kamara ran onto a pretty through ball from Tony Tchani and slipped a left-footed shot under New England goalkeeper Brad Knighton to stop the bleeding in the 42nd minute.

But Kei, who had been so active, yet unrewarded for most of the game, got his revenge on his old team in the 71st, when he capitalized on a defensive mixup between Columbus defenders Chad Barson and Waylon Francis and ran onto a free ball in the box and scored his third goal in a New England shirt.

Box Score

  • 3’ – NE – Lee Nguyen
  • 34' – NE – Wil Trapp (OG)
  • 42' – CLB – Ola Kamara (Tony Tchani)
  • 71' – NE – Kei Kamara
  • Full box score
  • Stats 
  • Highlights 

Three Things

1. HE WORKED FOR ITYes, of course, Kei Kamara wanted to score against his old team. And, yes, he ultimately got the sweet satisfaction of getting that goal -- and more importantly, the win -- Saturday night in Foxborough. But he worked so hard, he probably deserved more. He sure looked like he was fouled in the box by Chad Barson in the 30th minute, but didn't get the penalty call. And he was called for tripping Barson in the 54th, denying him a breakaway. And in general, he was just in the thick of everything. Nice game for Kei. 

2. ONE MAN BAND? Ola Kamara also scored a goal. But for him, this is not unusual. In eight games since taking over for Kei Kamara as Crew SC's No. 9, Ola Kamara has scored eight goals. Pretty good production, right? Columbus is 1-3-4 in those games. And the one win was a 4-3 decision over Real Salt Lake May 28, when Ola had a hat trick. If you get a goal a game from your No. 9, shouldn't that be worth at least a point a game in the standings?
 
3. SCENE STEALER: With all eyes on Kei and Ola Kamara, New England's Lee Nguyen got the party started with a pretty goal in the third minute, chesting a ball down inside the box and curling a wicked, outside-of-the-right-foot strike into the top left corner for his fifth goal of the year.

Next Up

  • NE: Saturday, July 16 at Real Salt Lake (10 pm ET; MLS LIVE)
  • CLB: Wednesday, vs. Toronto FC (7 pm ET; MLS LIVE)
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