Columbus 2-2 New England: Crew rally for point in Lower.com opener
Photo: Emilee Chinn/Getty Images

The Columbus Crew rallied from a two-goal deficit to earn a 2-2 draw against the New England Revolution in the first-ever game at Lower.com Field.

Tajon Buchanan opened the scoring for the Revolution in the 13rd minute and the visitors soon doubled their lead on the half-hour mark through Gustavo Bou.

The Crew began their comeback as Gyasi Zardes cut the New England half in the 39th minute and an own goal by Andrew Farrell in the 69th minute spared the hosts blushes and rescued a point.

  • Story of the match

Columbus came out with a ton of energy as within the first 30 seconds winger Luis Diaz  cut inside and let a left-footed shot go. right back Harrison Afful intercepted a poor clearance from Matt Turner at and unleashed a right-footed shot, but each pulled their shot wide of the right post.

That was part of a sequence that saw the Crew take four shots within the opening ten minutes from inside 20 yards, but against the run of play, New England took the lead.

Left back DeJuan Jones got past Afful and to the end line and a cross to the back post found an unmarked Buchanon, who beat Milton Valenzuela to the spot and headed past Eloy Room, the ball hitting the crossbar, to make it 1-0. 

Lucas Zelarayan then sent a corner in that Zardes headed well right of the post before the Argentine hit the wall with a 20th minute free-kick and forced a save from Turner in the 27th minute.

Buchanon then turned provider as the Revolution doubled their lead. After Columbus fully failed to clear a corner and he played a pass across the goalmouth that was met by Bou, who made no mistake to double the New England lead.

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Afful then found space on the right side and his low, early cross to Zardes, who took one touch, turned and beat the outstretched arms of Turner, his shot rolling just inside the right post to cut the lead to 2-1.

The game was level after Columbus substitute Liam Fraser sent a long ball that caromed off of the head of Farrell, the ball re-directed toward the onrushing Turner.  Zardes tried to finish, but Farrell cleared the ball into Turner and back into the goal.

In stoppage time, the Crew almost got the storybook ending they were looking for as Alex Latan lashed a close-range shot in the box that was blocked. The ball caromed to Afful, who also saw his shot blocked. Darlington Nagbe had the final chance, but it was deflected out for a corner, which came to nothing and the two long-time rivals shared the points.

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  • Man of the Match: Tajon Buchanan

With a goal and an assist on Bou's goal, he did his best to spoil the party for Columbus and would have done so had it not been for Farrell's own goal.

  • Takeaways from the match 

Celebrating the Crew's new stadium

Really, this was the theme surrounding this match. After playing in Historic Crew Stadium since 1999, where New England was the opponent for the inaugural game there, as well, Columbus moved into their new digs and nearly wrote a fairytale ending to a game they looked destined to lose.

A slice of luck, perhaps destiny because of the circumstances, gave them a point as they look to turn Lower.com Field into the same fortress that Historic Crew Stadium was.

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