While they say preseason results don't matter, Columbus Crew SC head coach Gregg Berhalter won't be happy. For the second time in a week, the Black & Gold had a victory snatched away from the team in the final seconds, as Swope Park Rangers emulated their parent club with a late equalizer to earn a 2-2 draw.
The third game of the preseason for Columbus began with attacking chances, the best of which came when midfielder Tony Tchani found wing back Harrison Afful in the Rangers' penalty area just five minutes into the match. The defender attempted a chip of the goalkeeper but hit the crossbar.
Once SPR began to settle into the match, the club started to test Steve Clark. The Crew SC goalkeeper had to make a couple saves to keep the game scoreless in the opening 20 minutes.
It was in the 36th minute when the Black & Gold finally broke the deadlock and surprisingly it wasn't Kei Kamara - who had all three Crew SC goals in the preseason heading into this game - to open the scoring.
Winger Cedrick Mabwati fired a shot that forced a save and a rebound. Attacking midfielder Federico Higuain was right on the doorstep to tuck the ball home and give Columbus the 1-0 lead.
It didn't take long for Swope Park to respond. A ball was sent into the box and found Tomas Granitto from 12 yards out and the midfielder beat Clark to pull the match level.
The Black & Gold made wholesale changes to begin the second half and it led to more attacking chances and multiple corner kicks in the opening portion of the second 45 minutes.
In the 67th minute, Crew SC took the lead with another goal from a player not named Kei Kamara. It was forward Ola Kamara, who was making his debut for the Black & Gold, who found winger Ethan Finlay. The midfielder finished the shot calmly to put Columbus back up 2-1.
It appeared that Crew SC was going to get its first win of the preseason after drawing the club's opening two matches, but yet again a late goal forced a draw.
This time, it was a corner kick in stoppage time that was headed passed goalkeeper Brad Stuver by defender Oumar Ballo to pull level.
The Black & Gold tried a quick attack off the restart with Hector Jimenez looking for Finlay, but it was too little too late as the referee blew the final whistle.
Crew SC's preseason is not over yet as Columbus will play Saturday. The time of the match and the opponent is yet to be determined, as it will depend on the standings in the Desert Diamond Cup.
Check back to Massive Report for updates on when that game will be played and how to tune in.
First half lineup: Steve Clark; Harrison Afful, Michael Parkhurst, Gaston Sauro, Waylon Francis; Cedrick Mabwati, Tony Tchani, Wil Trapp, Justin Meram; Federico Higuain; Kei Kamara
Second half lineup: Brad Stuver; Chad Barson, Tyson Wahl, Amro Tarek, Marshall Hollingsworth; Ethan Finlay, Rodrigo Saravia, Mohammed Saeid, Hector Jimenez; Emil Larsen; Ola Kamara (68' Conor Casey)