MLS Rewind: Timbers trounce Galaxy, TFC jumps into first place with win, and more

MLS Rewind: Timbers trounce Galaxy, TFC jumps into first place with win, and more

There is a new leader in the race for the best record in the league after a shocking loss by the Columbus Crew and Toronto FC’s latest win.

Thierry Henry’s squad used goals in each half to win 2-1 at Mafpre Stadium on Wednesday, knocking the Crew out of the top spot in the Eastern Conference. Lassi Lappalainen and Bojan Krkic each scored to move the Impact to eighth place in the Conference.

Toronto FC took advantage of the Crew’s stumble by beating the New England Revolution, 1-0, courtesy of an Ayo Akinola goal. TFC has won four straight and now holds a three point lead on the Crew and Philadelphia Union, which caught the Crew on points with their win against FC Cincinnati.

Elsewhere, the Houston Dynamo downed in-state rivals FC Dallas 2-0 at home while NYCFC rolled to a 3-1 victory over struggling D.C. United. Gonzalo Higuain scored his first Inter Miami goal in a 2-1 triumph over the New York Red Bulls in Harrison.

In late action,  the Portland Timbers thrashed the hapless LA Galaxy, while the San Jose Earthquakes won their second straight to climb into a playoff place in the Western Conference.

Here’s a closer look at Wednesday night’s results:

Atlanta United 0, Orlando City 0

Atlanta United will be disappointed to come away with a single point from its home draw against Orlando City on Wednesday, but the Five Stripes have to know how lucky they were to have Brad Guzan help them earn even that.

The U.S. Men’s National Team goalkeeper was outstanding, making six top-notch saves to deny Orlando City in a 0-0 draw at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

The Lions extended their unbeaten streak to 10 matches, but watched a golden opportunity to climb into second place in the Eastern Conference on a night that saw Toronto FC the Philadelphia Union and New York City FC all win.

Orlando City hit the woodwork twice, including a deflected Nani shot in the second half that struck the crossbar, but it was Guzan that was responsible for more of the aggravation for Orlando City’s attack with his handful of stellar stops.

Orlando City nearly broke through in the 11th minute, only to have Guzan pull off a stunning double-save, denying a Daryl Dike header before pouncing on a Robinho follow-up shot.

Miles Robinson nearly scored for Atlanta United in the 18th minute, only to have Orlando City goalkeeper Brian Rowe make a key save off a headed corner kick.

Robinho hit the left post with a hard shot in the 33rd minute, with Guzan making a save on the follow-up to keep the match goal-less heading into the second half.

Nani nearly found a winner in the 78th minute, but had his deflected shot hit off the crossbar.

Atlanta United plays host to the New York Red Bulls on Sunday while Orlando City takes on the Columbus Crew on Sunday.

Man of the Match

Brad Guzan was the easy pick, with six excellent saves to preserve the shutout.

Moment of the Match

Guzan’s 87th-minute save to deny Junior Urso on a dangerous Orlando City counterattack that produced a wide-open look for Urso was Guzan’s best save of the night.

Match to Forget

Benji Michel had a quiet night in the Orlando City attack, and while his teammates were denied multiple times by Guzan, Michel failed to generate much of a threat.

Red Bulls 1, Inter Miami 2

(Fernandez 53′) — (Pellegrini 55′, Higuain 81′)

Inter Miami was staring in the face of another potential defeat, but Gonzalo Higuain came up with the goods to give the expansion side a much-needed victory.

Higuain scored a game-winning golazo off a free kick in the 81st minute to push Inter Miami past the New York Red Bulls 2-1. Higuain’s goal at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, New Jersey, came after he helped set up Inter Miami’s equalizer, which was scored by Matias Pellegrini earlier in the second half.

The Red Bulls had taken the lead shortly after halftime. Omir Fernandez tapped in from close after a pass out of the back from Inter Miami defender Ben Sweat was intercepted high up the field and taken the other way in the 53rd minute.

Inter Miami refused to roll over, however, and got an equalizer two minutes later. Pellegrini scored his first MLS goal on a powerful half-volley following a cross from the right from Lewis Morgan.

Higuain, who helped set up that leveler with good hold-up play, then donned the hero’s cape. The Argentine opened his scoring account in the league and with his new side, firing a sizzling effort inside the right post on a free kick from about 20 yards out.

MAN OF THE MATCH

Gonzalo Higuain. Stepped up and made the difference in his first game as Inter Miami captain, scoring the winner off a sensational free kick after helping set up the equalizer with good target-man play.

MOMENT OF THE MATCH

Game-Winning Golazo. Inter Miami had not scored directly off an attacking set piece all season, but that changed when Higuain took the late free kick that found the back of the net via a classy and potent strike.

MATCH TO FORGET

Jason Pendant. Came into the match in the 62nd minute to try and help lock down the right side of the Red Bulls’ defense, but he ended up committing the foul that led to Higuain’s incredible decisive tally.