The Crew nearly stole a point in Kansas City over the weekend. They tried the same thing against the Los Angeles Galaxy and nearly stole a win behind a goal by Bernardo Anor before a late game collapse, including two marginal penalty calls, dropped Columbus to another defeat 2-1.
After the slow start last Saturday, the Black and Gold hoped to have a better showing in Los Angeles. The Crew would only get off one shot, a long range Dominic Oduro blast that went well over the crossbar.
Columbus would find its footing in the second half on the counterattack. Both Oduro and Higuain saw quite a bit of the ball early including the Crew's first shot on goal in the 55'. The Galaxy would then get the balance of possession.
After a glacial pace that likely put some East Coast fans to sleep, the final 15 minutes rocketed to the end with three goals with the Crew shockingly striking first.
Higuain drove a 50 yard free kick that dipped at the top of the 18 yard box. Anor popped a looping shot over Carlo Cudicini to give the Crew a shock lead in the 77th minute.
The Galaxy immediately pressed for an equalizer, giving Columbus a couple solid chances to counterattack including a blistering counter that ended with an Ethan Finlay shot on goal.
The first stroke of controversy would hit in the 85th minute. Jose Villareal would take the ball into the box forcing Gruenebaum to lay out. Villareal dragged his feet across the keeper and went down. The referee called the penalty without hesitation to the dismay of the Crew. Keane calmly tied it up a minute later.
The second big controversy would be another late penalty call against the visitors. The Galaxy would press the attack in stoppage time and Anor, marking Keane in the penalty box, brushed the Irish forward with his arm. Keane fell to the ground and Stoica blew the whistle again. Keane finished to put the Galaxy up 2-1.
Columbus did have a couple chances with Oduro nearly scoring in the 88th forcing Todd Dunivant to save the ball of the line. Kevan George's poke from 6 yards out deep into stoppage time would have given the Crew the tie, but it drifted wide.
Columbus falls to 5-8-5 and 20 points. It's the third straight loss and has put the Crew in sole possession of 8th place in the Eastern Conference with both Chicago and New England having two games in hand. The odds of the playoffs are getting more remote and every game is becoming a must win game. The Portland Timbers, unbeaten in 15 games, comes to Crew Stadium on Sunday.