Goals four minutes apart by Leandre Griffit and Jason Garey early in the second half jump-started the Crew to a 3-0 win over Trinidad’s Joe Public Tuesday in a CONCACAF Champions League Group B match.
Griffit struck in the 47th minute with a deft shot from 17 yards on the left side that skipped into the right corner of the net for a 1-0 lead. Garey added a goal in the 51st minute with a header off an Emmanuel Ekpo cross. Steven Lenhart came off the bench to score the final goal with an assist to Dilly Duka in the 79th minute. Goalkeeper Andy Gruenebaum made three saves to post the shutout in his third straight Champions League start. Columbus has six points through three matches, while Joe Public has one halfway through group play. NOTES:
Crew F Emilio Renteria served a one-game suspension incurred for accumulated cautions. Andres Mendoza, who scored in his second Crew appearance Saturday at L.A., made his first start.Columbus was without injured M Robbie Rogers (knee), D/M Danny O’Rourke (back) and D Gino Padula (knee).· Regulars Frankie Hejduk, Brian Carroll, Guillermo Barros Schelotto and William Hesmer were also given the night off.· Joe Public dressed only 16 players due to visa problems for four players and suspensions to Jevon Morris and Jason Springer. Trent Noel was in the original starting lineup but was scratched from the roster after suffering an injury during warmups.· Former Crew star and Trinidadian Stern John was in attendance for the match.· The Crew returns to CCL action next Tuesday, Sept. 21, vs. Santos Laguna of Mexico, in a game that will be televised live nationally on FSC.
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After their CONCACAF match tonight, the Sounders return to MLS play Saturday at Columbus. (I'm going, because you guys voted me there. ... And Chicago the following week.)
Meanwhile, those of you with access to Fox Soccer Channel can scout both teams with an FSC double-header tonight: Joe Public at Columbus at 5 p.m., Sounders at Saprissa at 7.
I'll open a Sounders gameday blog entry in an hour or two.