Columbus Crew SC got a good point against the team with the best record in MLS behind a Cedrick Mabwati goal, but right now they need more than good, they need great to start climbing the Eastern Conference.
Both sides had a couple solid chances early. Jermaine Jones lobbed a left sided cross that clipped the bar, but the rebound shot was out over touch in the 12th minute. Five minutes later, Afful took a ball swung wide into the box, but his shot from a narrow angle was smothered by Zac MacMath.
Columbus would get that breakthrough in the 23rd minute with a pair of great individual efforts to combine into a well worked goal. Mabwati would once again get behind the defense and probe into the box. As the Rapids defense set, he dribbled centrally. He then found Afful wide right. Afful drew three Rapids defenders in, then found the Congolese winger. His shot ripped the back of the net and Crew SC got their lead.
The game would settle as the shots that came fast and furious in the opening minutes became sparse. Crew SC was content to continue to counterpunch. They had a mere 42% of possession as the game went into halftime, but outshot the visitors seven to three.
The Rapids still would struggle to test Clark as Crew SC grew in confidence as the second half opened, but it would be a set piece that would undo the home side. Gashi drilled a corner into the heart of the six yard box. Kevin Doyle met the ball and tied it in the 55th minute.
Colorado would continue to push forward as Columbus struggled to settle after the goal. The visitors pressed high up the field and Crew SC struggled with the pressure. The Rapids would get off four shots to Crew SC's two in the twenty minutes following the tying goal as it appeared that Colorado would be more likely to break the deadlock.
Columbus would finally reset and found some rhythm for the final 15 minutes, but they would fail to seriously test MacMath. The Rapids were well drilled and played tight at the back. Crew SC would get off five shots, but three came from outside if the box and the other two were very low percentage chances.
Crew SC is now 2-4-4 with 10 points after 10 games, sitting ninth in the Eastern Conference. The first game post Kei Kamara looked a lot like the games with Kei, a few chances, but mostly from distance and a set piece goal given up. It could be viewed as a good result against the team with the best record in the league, but Crew SC need more than that now.