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Columbus Crew SC still searching for first win after tying Dallas 1-1

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Columbus lead for the first time this season, but they also dropped points from a winning position for the first time this season.

Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Crew SC faced a daunting task, going to Dallas and getting a win. FC Dallas has emerged as one of the leading teams in MLS the past several seasons. Except when they don't have their star playmaker Mauro Diaz. Diaz was a late scratch on Saturday night and Crew SC's job got easier, but Columbus still wasn't able to pull out a win, leaving Texas with a point after a 1-1 draw.

The Black & Gold started strong with several pushes forward. They were able to collect a corner in the 9th minute that lead to Crew SC's first lead of the 2016 season. Federico Higuain settled over the ball and bent in a driven service. Justin Meram easily beat Maynor Figuroa to the ball and gave Columbus the opening goal.

The home side clearly missed their leader on offense and Columbus tried to take advantage. Crew SC had several chances to extend the lead in the first half. Meram had a great chance in the 28th minute that he blasted right at goalkeeper Chris Seitz. Figuroa poked the ball away from Ethan Finlay in the 36th minute on what would have been a golden attempt at goal number two. Seitz also stuffed Finlay's 43rd minute attempt to keep the game close.

Dallas had nine shots in the first half, but most of them were from long distance and only one was on target. The home side struggled as they entered the final third and were stymied into trying low percentage scoring attempts. They didn't test Steve Clark with any of their attempts.

The game shifted in the second half as Crew SC found it harder to connect passes as off the ball movement suffered and Dallas stepped into the passing lanes. The home side's best chances came off of turnovers. Max Arruti was able to finish off a quick transition with a long distance shot, but Michael Barrios would put his chance a minute later, the 56th, on target. Clark covered to snuff out the pressure.

Crew SC would get their last good chance minutes later with Meram getting off a shot from the top of the box, but again right at Seitz.

Neither team would look comfortable with the ball and the game stretched as the normal tidy passing turned into a frenetic back and forth. That suited Dallas. While Crew SC would only add four shots in the second half, Dallas fired off twelve. Not many of them found the target, but they would get lucky midway through the half.

Urruti took a very poor turnover and launched a thirty yard shot that rang the post. The ball then rebounded off of Clark and fell to Tesho Akendele. He cleaned up the easy chance to tie the game. Neither team would get a good opportunity to break the deadlock.

With the tie Columbus is now 0-2-2 on the season with two points. The struggles leave them with the worst record in the Eastern Conference, but only three points out of the playoff spots and four from the top of the table. They now head to Montreal to face the East leading Impact on Saturday at 4pm.