MLS Review: Revolution in box seat, Galaxy held

New England Revolution took control of their Eastern Conference semi-final, while Real Salt Lake and Los Angeles Galaxy are evenly poised.

Charlie Davies bagged a brace as the Revolution trounced Columbus Crew 4-2 in the opening leg of their semi-final at Crew Stadium on Saturday.

Chris Tierney and Lee Nguyen were also on target for Jay Heaps' visitors, who return to New England on November 9 with four priceless away goals.

After Crew's Justin Meram hit the crossbar in the 29th minute, New England - who finished second in the East behind DC United - went up the other end and broke the deadlock five minutes later.

Kelyn Rowe whipped in a teasing free-kick that fizzed across the six-yard box and into the path of Davies, who headed home from close range.

New England doubled their lead seven minutes into the second half, Tierney finding the top corner of the net with a sublime free-kick from just outside the box.

Columbus - third in the East during the regular season - managed to stem the tide 12 minutes later, pulling a goal back through Meram, who fired the ball into the back of the net from close range.

The hosts' joy was short-lived as New England restored their two-goal lead in the 71st minute, Nguyen running with the ball from the half-way line before placing it beyond Crew goalkeeper Steve Clarke.

Davies capped an impressive display with his second of the match seven minutes later when he curled the ball into the net off the post.

Columbus were given a lifeline heading into the return leg after receiving a penalty in the fourth minute of injury time, which Federico Higuain converted.

Real Salt Lake and Los Angeles Galaxy played out a goalless draw in their Western Conference semi-final at Rio Tinto Stadium.

In the first leg, pitting third against second in the West, neither side could make the breakthrough.

The Galaxy did find the back of the net in the first half courtesy of Gyasi Zardes but his effort was ruled out for offside.

Los Angeles will host Real Salt Lake at Stubhub Center on November 9.