Posted by Massive Report on Saturday, July 21, 2018
Columbus Crew SC came into Saturday night’s game with Orlando City SC looking for a way to score goals and desperately in need of three points. The Black & Gold accomplished both in a 3-2 victory at MAPFRE Stadium following a 45-minute rain delay.
While the the team did win the game, it wasn’t all perfect from Columbus, who had to come back against a struggling OCSC side twice. Orlando City nearly scored in the second minute from a long distance effort from Yoshimar Yotun. He shed the defensive pressure and his rocket hit the upright and was cleared by Harrison Afful.
The Black & Gold immediately took the ball up the field with Milton Valenzuela finding Luis Argudo, in for the missing Federico Higuain. The rookie slipped the ball into Gyasi Zardes, but he sent his wide-angle shot into the side of the net. End-to-end action two minutes into the game.
Orlando City got on the board first in the 16th minute. RJ Allen, wide right, whipped in a cross that skipped past Orlando’s Stefano Pinho and found Sacha Kljestan unmarked inside the six-yard box. The attacker scuffed his shot, but got enough on it to give visitors the early lead.
Crew SC continue to struggle offensively throughout the half without the team’s primary playmaker. Pushing forward, Columbus earned 10 corners, but only got one weak Zardes shot on goal.
The best chance of the first half came just before halftime with Afful in on goal with a big switch of the field. He closed in on the Orlando goal with Zardes in the middle and sent his shot wide of goal and out for a throw in.
After the break, Columbus got its breakthrough in the 51st to tie the match. Afful slipped a long pass down the right side of the field for Niko Hansen to run on to. The winger zipped around the Orlando defender in the corner and sent in a centering pass. Zardes clipped a shot at the goal that rang the post and caromed in to tie the game.
Orlando responded quickly. After a challenge on Zardes that the Black & Gold thought was a foul, the visitors quickly carried the ball upfield. Cristian Higuita pushed the ball up to Yotun. The midfielder drove through middle third of the field and slipped the ball into Kljestan. His centering pass was clipped by Josh Williams, but fell to Pinio, who stabbed it home from two yards out to restore the lead in the 59th minute.
Crew SC struggled to come back pushing for chances. The team had the majority of possession as Orlando tried to hold on for a rare road win. Pumping balls into the penalty box resulted in four shots between the Orlando goal and the most controversial moment of the match.
That moment was when Columbus was awarded a late penalty in the 86th minute. Allen moved towards Patrick Mullins as a cross came in. Both jumped and Mullins fell to the ground. Referee Silviu Petrescu pointed to the spot and did not refer to video review. Zardes finished off the penalty to tie the game in the 88th minute.
Crew SC kept pushing for a winning goal and were rewarded with a massive goal from an unlikely hero, as Trapp fired a shot from nearly 40 yards out. The shot from distance rose to the top corner past an outstretched Joe Bendik to give the Black & Gold the lead deep in stoppage time.
The number of shots on the night for Wil Trapp. The Crew SC captain was instrumental in the offense as he sent several diagonal passes that stretched Orlando, especially towards Afful. But when Columbus needed him most, Trapp stepped up to give the team all three points at home.
Before tonight, Orlando City averaged less than a goal a game on the road. They had a paltry 2-7-0 record away from home. Tonight, the Lions scored twice and nearly took all three points. Under new coach James O’Connor, Orlando’s play has turned around and they pushed for 90 minutes. Columbus outlasted a team that is getting that “new coach bump.”
The win pushes Crew SC to 9-7-6 on the year with 33 points. They secure thier spot in fourth place in the Eastern Conference. The team is back on the road again facing another very tough test against third place New York Red Bulls at Harrison on Saturday evening at 7 p.m. ET.