Welcome to the Anatomy of a Goal, where each week we dissect one goal (or near goal) from Columbus Crew SC‘s previous match.
For match 30 of the 2019 MLS Season, we take a look at Przemyslaw Frankowski’s stoppage time goal that sent the Crew to a disappointing draw against the Chicago Fire on Saturday.
Columbus entered the match with the team’s playoff nearly extinguished, needing a point to keep its ever-dwindling chances on life support or a win to have a slightly more realistic shot of playing in Week 35. The Black & Gold were buoyed by an unassisted Pedro Santos wonder strike in the first half and defended admirably as the match entered the second half stoppage time.
The Fire’s equalizer begins with a Crew clearance from center back Alex Crognale all the way back to Chicago goalkeeper Kenneth Kronholm.
Kronholm quickly slides the ball over to center back Bastian Schweinsteiger, pushed far up the field as the Fire look for the equalizer.
Schweinsteiger hits a one-time pass to his center back partner Francisco Calvo, pushed even further up the field.
Calvo receives the ball and is immediately surrounded by Columbus defenders. Both Artur and Wil Trapp will collapse onto Calvo as Crognale backs off and maintains the backline.
Artur and Trapp work to dispossess Calvo. Trapp picks up the ball and heads toward Djordje Mihailovic.
Mihailovic and Trapp have a brief tussle that sees the Fire attacker go to ground once . . .
. . . and twice as Trapp maintains possession. Santos waits wide of Trapp, ready to spring a game-delaying attack forward if the Black & Gold captain is able to find him.
Trapp’s ball-win against Mihailovic is a bit heavy and sends the ball rolling toward Dax McCarty, setting off a foot race between the two midfielders. Santos still waits for a pass.
McCarty and Trapp reach the ball at the same time with the Chicago midfielder beating out his Crew counterpart and restarting the Fire attack.
McCarty half-touches the ball to Mihailovic who will cut toward the Columbus goal box. On the far side of the field, Frankowski makes his own move toward the penalty area. The scramble to win possession saw the Black & Gold’s defensive shape collapse, leaving the Chicago winger totally unmarked.
Mihailovic stops far short of the penalty box and slides an entry pass forward to Aleksander Katai. Frankowski continues his unmarked run toward the penaltu box.
Katai picks up Mihailovic’s pass and has three options. He can continue to carry the ball toward the goal, fire in a quick shot or play cross the ball into the 18-yard box where Nemanja Nikolic is waiting and Frankowski lurks behind the play.
Katai hits a cross into the penalty box right toward Nikolic. Frankowski has entered the box and is unmarked should the cross make its way all the way to him.
The cross is just behind Nikolic, but multiple Fire attackers wait to pounce on the ball moving through the box.
As the ball moves through the box, Frankowski is the only Crew or Fire in position to pick up the loose cross.
The Chicago winger his a first-touch shot on goal.
Columbus goalkeeper Eloy Room tries to make a play on the shot but can only watch as the ball slides to his right . . .
. . . and into the back of the net.
- Trapp and Artur combine well to stop the first round of attack, but Trapp has to know not to attempt to dribble out of danger while defending a one-goal lead in stoppage time. If the Black & Gold’s captain clears the ball out here he might be able to totally end this attacking chance.
- The Crew lost their defensive shape as the team scrambled to clear this ball, but left winger Youness Mokhtar is nowhere to be seen here. As a sub, he should have the legs to track back with Frankowski but he instead stays up near the midfield line as a safety valve along with two other attackers. At least 10 of the 11 players should be defending here.
- Frankowski is in the right place at the right time, and makes the absolute most of this chance.