Welcome back to the Anatomy of a Goal, where each week we dissect one goal (or near goal) from Columbus Crew SC‘s previous match.
Columbus took the field in Houston with Darlington Nagbe in the lineup for the first time since early September. While Nagbe completed nearly all of his passes, the Black & Gold showed the same road match rust that we have come to expect this season. A Memo Rodriguez goal in the first half gave the Dynamo a lead that carried until the 67th minute.
The game-tying goal begins with a Pedro Santos interception. Santos picks off the ball and sends a pass back toward Milton Valenzuela.
Valenzuela picks up Santos’ interception and slides the ball over to Artur to set up the offense.
Artur spies Harrison Afful, hidden underneath the on-screen advertisement, and hits a field-switching pass to the right back.
Afful takes a few touches toward the sideline and pays a pass forward to Luis Diaz.
Diaz crosses midfield and finds himself with four options. He can play a pass forward to Lucas Zelarayan, carry the ball toward the middle of the field, play a long diagonal back to Artur or drop a pass to Aidan Morris.
Diaz plays a safe pass back to Morris.
Morris carries forward and looks to make a pass back forward to Diaz, but has to get the ball around Darwin Ceren.
Ceren sticks a foot out and is able to get in the way of Morris’ pass to Diaz.
Luckily, Ceren’s interception deflects right to Harrison Afful.
Afful immediately hits a pass right to Morris.
Morris carries the ball forward and resets back to Artur.
Artur moves the ball forward and finds himself with three options. He can either play a pass forward to Zelarayan, hit a long diagonal to Santos or play a pass up to Valenzuela.
Artur makes the safe pass over to Valenzuela.
And Valenzuela makes a safe pass right back to Artur.
Artur picks up Valenzuelas pass and sends a long ball over to Jonathan Mensah who is open in the middle of the field.
Mensah finds Aidan Moors a dozen yards ahead of him.
Morris lets the ball roll ahead of him and hits a very good first touch pass forward to Afful.
Afful corrals Morris’ pass and carries it a few yards forward, where he hits a pass into the path of Diaz.
Diaz turns toward the goal and hits a low cross into the penalty box toward Krisztian Nemeth.
Maynor Figureoa is the first obstacle between Diaz’s cross and Nemeth.
The ball just edges past Figueroa as Cabrera gets between Nemeth and the ball.
Cabrera slides toward the ball in an attempt to clear it out of bounds. The Dynamo center back gets a touch on the ball, preventing Nemeth from getting on the end of the cross.
Fortunately for Columbus, Cabrera’s attempted clearance rockets toward the Houston goal.
Marko Maric gets his hand up but isn’t able to react quickly enough as the ball soars past him . . .
. . . into the back of the net!
- This play is one of the better pieces of possession for the Black & Gold from an otherwise forgettable night. The Crew had a few moments of luck, Ceren’s deflection to Afful and obviously the own goal, but this type of play is what was missing for long stretches of the match.
- Artur and Morris are the key fulcrums here. Both do well to cycle possession and put Columbus in a position to score.
- Diaz’s pass to Nemeth was excellent. Nemeth may have reached the pass if he were more used to Diaz’s play, but the ball still does its job and gives Columbus a goal.