It wasn’t an easy last two weeks for Ola Kamara.
Despite having scored in the last two games, and three of the last four, the Columbus Crew SC striker had a difficult international break, dealing with a lower leg injury he suffered during the win over FC Dallas.
Despite being severely limited in training between games, Kamara was the spark the Black & Gold needed last Sunday in a 1-1 draw with Sporting Kansas City.
Given Kamara’s injury and the little he was able to do over the break, Crew SC fans will be happy with the forward’s performance against Kansas City.
He was active up top during his 64 minutes and caused issues for the vaunted Sporting defense.
In the 35th minute, Kamara got behind SKC after a nice flick from Federico Higuain. The forward went to ground in the penalty box after contact with defender Matt Besler, but no penalty kick was called.
Kamara used frustration from the no call to fuel on his first half stoppage time near-post run on Santos’ corner that resulted in the headed equalizer.
“I think I was still mad about the penalty situation,” he said of the play. “I think one guy had me and I bumped him a little bit and then I just decided this is going to go in. Because a little bit in anger and it was good revenge.”
Kamara had a chance in the second half to give Columbus a lead on a through ball, but swung and missed on his shot that he should have at least made contact with to test Sporting goalkeeper Tim Melia.
The striker was disappointed with the effort following the game, perhaps faulting fatigue for his lapse in concentration.
“The last two weeks, I trained two times,” he said. “So of course I wasn’t on my top game today, but I got a goal. Maybe if I was in a little bit better shape today, maybe I could have gotten two.
For me, it’s hard to go home and think about the chance in the second half of course, but I wanted to decide the game and get a brace today but I couldn’t.”
Kamara said he was feeling good after the contest, which is good news for the Black & Gold’s top goal scorer moving into the final few games of the season.
Columbus has five games remaining in the Major League Soccer regular season, including Saturday’s contest at the Vancouver Whitecaps, and sits in fourth place in the Eastern Conference. Given that the four teams below Crew SC, all of which are vying for three playoff spots, have at least two games in hand, the Black & Gold will need points.
That likely requires goals from Kamara.
“My body actually felt quite good,” he said. “I had to work a little bit with my injury before the game and in the warmup, but when I was playing it was fine. So hopefully now I can have a good week into Vancouver and bag some goals.”