It certainly was not Columbus Crew SC’s night on Wednesday. The Black & Gold lost 5-3 on penalty kicks to Minnesota United after a 1-1 draw in regulation and were eliminated from the MLS is Back Tournament.
The Crew fell behind early thanks to poor defending on a corner kick and took until the second half to find the groove fans became accustomed to in this tournament. Even then, Columbus was not able to find that extra gear and only got a goal thanks to a penalty kick chance after a silly foul by Minnesota in the 18-yard box. And even that was initially missed by Gyasi Zardes.
This sums up the game pretty nicely:
Spirits were high before the game, as fans hoped to see another good performance from their team.
It's game time! Our patient champion Rhett is excited to cheer on his favorite team tonight!— Nationwide Children's Hospital (@nationwidekids) July 29, 2020
Good luck to our incredible partners @columbuscrewsc. We're all cheering for you! #Crew96 #columbuscrew pic.twitter.com/UdFzw09wMY
Columbus finally conceded its first goal of the tournament in the 18th minute when Minnesota midfielder Robin Lod connected with the ball off a failed corner clearance. With the Crew trailing for the first time all season, fans were interested to see how the team would respond to this adversity.
The first goal #Crew96 has conceded this entire tournament - so now we get to see how the team responds to adversity...— Matt Bernhardt (@bernhardtsoccer) July 29, 2020
You knew they’d give up one eventually. Now find a response. #Crew96— Jeff. (@JeffinRealLife) July 29, 2020
Despite dominating possession, the Crew looked off most of the night and fans kept hoping the Black & Gold could get back into the game.
Three-quarters of the way home - it's lack of sharpness. It's not even failing at the final pass, it's weak passing and a need for a greater cutting edge. I'm so exasperated watching this. #Crew96— Chuck Pearson: all pandemic whining all the time (@PearsonFootball) July 29, 2020
(•_•)— Dave Expects You To Stand At Least Six Feet Away (@SoDaveWasLike) July 29, 2020
<) )╯ This!
( (> Game!
<) )> Sucks!
Columbus received a lifeline in the 79th minute when Crew winger Derrick Ettiene Jr. was fouled in the penalty box. Zardes’ penalty was initially saved my Minnesota goalkeeper Tyler Miller, but the forward converted on the rebound.
This gave supporters renewed hope at a win and advancement.
With things all square at full time, the match went straight to penalty kicks to decide the winner. Fans were understandably nervous and disappointed with the result, especially considering the absence of starting goalkeeper, Eloy Room.
Watching a penalty shootout is so nerve racking #Crew96— John Batchelder (@elchaperone) July 29, 2020
While we all have missed them so much, sports can rip your heart out. #Crew96— Christian C. (@theccway) July 29, 2020
Just wasn’t our night. Minnesota got exactly what they wanted. Score early and then pack it in and eliminate the transition attack. Take it to PKs and it’s anyone’s game to win. Respect the approach, but hate to see this @ColumbusCrewSC eliminated. #Crew96— Chris Heading (@ChrisAHeading) July 29, 2020
With the Crew eliminated from the MLS is Back Tournament, fans are ready to move on, with many hoping they will be able to see their club play again soon. MLS is expected to announce a plan for a continued regular season in the coming days.
So I’m going to go ahead and act like it’s not a big deal and that I never cared if #Crew96 won this tournament now. Thank you for understanding.— Patrick Moore (@TheCrewPat) July 29, 2020
Dammit. At least the guys can come home to their families. #Crew96— Gringa con Gatos y Máscaras y #BLM (@gringacongatos) July 29, 2020
Oh, Columbus. You did us proud. Looking forward to this teams future. #Crew96— Scott Gill-Jacobson (@scottgj) July 29, 2020
Not the result anyone hoped for but we stand with #Crew96...and those 9 points were taking into the regular season.— The Nordecke (@Nordecke) July 29, 2020
Anyway, here’s some Crew dogs to cheer everyone up.