Crew blank Red Bulls 2-0

The Associated Press

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- Each time Matt Lampson made a critical stop, his Columbus Crew teammates responded at the other end of the field.

He helped the Crew earn a 2-0 victory against New York on Saturday that ended a three-game losing streak.

Lampson, starting for the injured Andy Gruenebaum for the third time this season, got his second shutout by making two saves.

Within minutes of each the Crew got goals by Federico Higuain, who converted a penalty kick in the 62nd minute and added his first goal from the run of play in more than five months in the 76th.

''Those saves were huge,'' Crew defender Chad Barson said. ''They definitely kept us in the game. It takes pressure off us when we're able to keep a clean sheet.''

New York (11-8-5) was without top players Tim Cahill and Thierry Henry, but stayed in the match through several excellent saves by Luis Robles.

But the match changed when Chad Marshall drew a penalty call during a free kick.

''Actually, when (the referee) blew the whistle I thought he was calling that Luis had been fouled,'' said New York assistant coach Robin Fraser, who was in charge while head coach Mike Petke served a suspension.

''Certainly I was surprised.''

Robles stopped an Higuain penalty on May 4 that led to a Red Bulls' 1-0 win, but Higuain converted against him on May 26 during a 2-2 draw.

This time, Higuain powered the shot down the middle and Robles had no chance. Higuain has seven goals this season; five have come via seven penalty attempts.

Lampson made a critical save two minutes prior to the goal when got his fingertips on a sneaky strike by Jonathan Steele. The shot went off Lampson and hit the crossbar.

Just before the insurance goal that helped snap New York's three-game winning streak, Lampson made a diving stop of an Espindola header to preserve the lead.

''One of the biggest jobs as a goalkeeper is to give the team confidence,'' Lampson said. ''When you make big saves they really thrive off it and I think that's exactly what happened.''

Soon thereafter, rookie Wil Trapp put the ball into open space along the right side. Higuain took it and put a 25-yard chip shot past Robles as Trapp collected his first career assist.

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