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Crew 2 rides a second-half storm for a comeback win vs. Chicago Fire II

The Black & Gold reserve team trailed 2-0 heading into the half. But a strong second half sees four unanswered goals and a win.

Courtesy of Columbus Crew 2

Columbus Crew 2 appeared to be in trouble for the second straight week, trailing Chicago Fire II 2-0 on the road. But the Black & Gold came from behind Saturday night to beat Fire II 4-2 thanks to four unanswered second-half goals.

Coming off a tough 4-0 home loss to Rochester New York FC last week, the expectation was that Columbus would come out with a vengeance and get back to playing the way the team did during its recent seven-game win streak. The first half of the Chicago game appeared otherwise.

Fire II began the game on the front foot with most of the possession. But Crew 2 had the first chance of the game when fullback Jake Morris put his shot wide of the net.

Less than 10 minutes later, Chicago got the first goal of the match, as Crew 2 goalkeeper Patrick Schulte came out of his penalty box to clear the ball, but missed it, giving Fire II’s Alex Monis a wide-open net to put the ball into.

It did not take long for the home side to then double the lead. It was another Black & Gold turnover in their defensive third that led to Josh Penn scoring for Chicago.

For the first half of the match, Columbus looked like the team did last week against Rochester, uncharacteristically giving the ball away in bad areas of the field, which is something Crew 2 did very little of throughout much of this year.

The team that came out of the locker room for the second half looked completely different. From the opening whistle to start the second half until the whistle to end the match, the Black & Gold were much more engaged and showed to be the hungrier side.

Columbus got on the board two minutes into the second 45 minutes when captain Marco Micaletto hit a shot that clanged off the inside of the goal post and found the back of the net. This strike from the midfielder helped Crew 2 jumpstart the rally.

Not even five minutes later, the Black & Gold had a penalty shout that was eventually waved off by the center referee. This led to Columbus having a golden chance to equalize when Crew 2 leading goalscorer Jacen Russell-Rowe had an open net to aim at after a cross into the 18-yard box, but his final touch let him down as his shot went well above the goal.

To come back from 2-0 down, a team needs just the right amount of luck and the Black & Gold had just that to save them from going down another goal.

Chicago hit the crossbar off a free-kick in the 65th minute. Minutes later, forward Noah Fuson got the equalizer Crew 2 needed. A beautiful back-post pass from Mohamed Farsi found Fuson, who easily tapped the ball into the open net.

The Black & Gold kept pushing for the goal to give them their first lead of the night and that came 10 minutes after the equalizer with a headed ball from Russell-Rowe to wide-open midfielder Ryan Telfer, who calmly slotted the ball past Fire II goalkeeper Mihajlo Miskovic to give Columbus the lead for good.

Crew 2 had a second bit of luck when Chicago forward Alex Monis had a shot that just missed the goal, hitting the far post, and springing a lethal Columbus counter-attack. Seconds after Monis hit the post, the Black & Gold scored their fourth goal of the half, with Russell-Rowe adding his seventh goal this season to seal the deal for Crew 2.

A resilient and determined performance that ended the way Columbus wanted after last weekend’s defeat.

What’s Next

Crew 2 will return to Historic Crew Stadium Thursday night for a rematch with Inter Miami FC II, the team who gave the Black & Gold their first loss of the season in the opening game. Kickoff is slated for 7 p.m. ET. All MLS Next Pro matches can be streamed at