Soccer  > General Soccer  > Crew dominate Joe Public in 3-0 win
September 15, 2010, 11:16 AM
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- The CONCACAF Champions League trophy was on display at Crew Stadium Tuesday night and host Columbus moved a step closer to qualifying for the tournament's knockout stage, defeating Joe Public, 3-0, in a Group B match.

Leandre Griffit, Jason Garey and Steven Lenhart scored second-half goals for Columbus, which has six points from three matches and momentarily moved into a first-place tie with Santos, which hosted Municipal later Tuesday night.

After coming away with nothing from a dominating opening 45 minutes, the Crew wasted little time in the second half to take the lead as Griffit cut inside of Joe Public defender Nigel Daniel and placed his shot around goalkeeper Marvin Phillip and inside the far post in the 47th minute.

Three minutes later, Columbus doubled its lead as Emmanuel Ekpo, who was one of the most dangerous Columbus players in the attacking third, played a perfect ball to Garey, who snapped a header inside the far post.

The Crew didn't take their foot off the accelerator and continued to attack, but Phillip singlehandedly kept the Trinidadians in the game. He denied Andres Mendoza with a fine save in the 50th minute and acrobatically parried away Adam Moffat's blast from 24 meters six minutes later.

On the hour mark, Kerry Baptiste had a chance on a counterattack, turning a Crew defender around at the top of the box, but Columbus goalkeeper Adam Gruenebaum dived to his left to stop the rolling shot.

A pair of second-half substitutes connected on the Crew's third goal as Dilly Duka played Lenhart into the box and the forward fired the ball past Phillip from 14 meters to give Columbus a commanding 3-0 lead in the 79th minute.

It was a stark contrast to a dominating first half when the Crew was unlucky not to go into the locker room at halftime with a lead.

Columbus attacked from the opening kick and Mendoza had a clear chance on four minutes, but his attempt was wide of the net. Ten minutes later, the Peruvian had another opportunity from the top of the 18-yard box, but Phillip made the save.

After being taken down by Carlyle Mitchell, who was the first player booked by referee Walter Lopez, Ekpo couldn't put away a free kick from 24 meters in the 31st minute. Two minutes later, the Nigerian found space on the right edge of the 18-yard box, but misfired into the stands.

In the 35th minute, Mendoza was in alone on Phillip, but Joe Public defender Keion Goodridge's last ditch effort knocked the ball out for a corner kick. One minute later, Ekpo again had an attempt at goal, but Phillip dived to his left to make the save and Garey tripped on the rebound.

Three minutes from halftime, Garey hammered a shot from eight meters well over the bar and the frustrated Crew went into halftime in a scoreless draw.

But that frustration was forgotten just six minutes into the second half as the Crew tallied twice, giving them some momentum heading into a showdown with Santos on Matchday next Tuesday. Joe Public, which has one point from its first three matches, is home for Municipal next Thursday. Both games kick off at 8 p.m.

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