NYCFC would have the edge in possession throughout the first half, but Columbus would have the most shots. They adjusted to the small size of the field and would transition quickly. As a result the Black & Gold got off plenty of shots, but rarely were they in good position.
The best chance for Crew SC came early as Pedro Santos was sent into the left edge of the box. His shot forced a save out of Sean Johnson. NYCFC was able to clear the danger. Santos would further test Johnson twice in the half, but from distance and Johnson was able to deal with the danger.
Despite the possession edge, NYCFC struggled to create quality chances on offense in the first half, but would improve in the second, their press causing issues for Crew SC. The first danger came when Maxi Morales tested Zack Steffen from close range. The shots kept coming, but it wouldn’t be until an error that lead to the opener.
Josh Williams swept a pass back to Steffen in the 80th minute. The ball skipped and Steffen played it towards Wil Trapp, but mis-hit it. The ball was picked up by Jonathan Lewis. His shot rang the crossbar. He then drove at goal and centered to Jesús Medina who calmly finished.
Columbus wouldn’t be able to break through in the second half as they would get off six shots, but only two on target. The late push left Crew SC vulnerable to the counter. Anton Tinnerholm broke forward and finished off the game with a left footed shot in the box to make it 2-0 in the 90th minute.
That’s a Negative
Columbus started the year with a strong defense and solid offense. The offense has dropped off and the defense has struggled. While Atlanta, NYCFC, and the Red Bulls have double digit goal positive differentials, the fourth place Crew SC are now at -1 on the year. It’s clear that there is a top group of the Eastern Conference and Columbus isn’t in it.
It’s another road shutout. Columbus now hasn’t scored on the road since Lalas Abubakar scored on May 19th. Crew SC has been blanked by Sporting Kansas City, LAFC, LA Galaxy, and NYCFC. Columbus is 0-1-3 with a -8 goal differential in that stretch.
The team returns home against struggling Orlando City next Saturday evening, July 21st at 7:30 pm. This is a critical game as Columbus has won once in the last eight games. Orlando just broke their nine game losing streak.