By Hilary // @hils4crew
Saturday, April 29: 2-3 Loss
Had I started writing match recaps last week, I would have started with, “Ouch that hurt,” due to the two injuries and uninspiring play by Columbus Crew SC against the New York Red Bulls. And this week, I can start with the same line for a myriad of reasons.
Ouch that hurt. Columbus Crew SC let a come from behind lead slip away resulting in a 3-2 loss against New York City FC. NYCFC started off with an early lead in the 8th minute with a goal by Jack Harrison. Columbus Crew SC answered with a goal by Federico Higuaín in the 29th minute entering into halftime with a draw.
Columbus started the second half with promise taking the lead 4 minutes into the second half with a goal by Ola Kamara. And then, the wheels seemed to come off. NYCFC answered with two more goals. One by Yangel Herrera and a second by Jack Harrison.
Let’s talk about the good, the bad, the ugly, and the beautiful parts of this game.
The Good: Federico Higuaín looked like a man driven by a cause for the bulk of this game. He pressured, he passed, he shot, and he played what I think was one of his strongest games of the season. This isn’t to say it was perfect. There were times I felt like he tried to force a few things or put a few too many extra touches on the ball when it should have been passed faster or shot immediately, but it was nice to see his desire to win reflected in his play. This is the Pipa we need to show up for all of Columbus Crew SC’s matches.
The Bad: This game was a reminder of a lot of the games we lost last year—bleeding goals at the end of games. However, I do believe this game might have been salvageable had Gregg subbed a bit earlier than he did. In fact, I started screaming for him to sub around the 60th minute. Obviously, Gregg couldn’t hear me from across the field, or I’m sure he would have followed my “expert” advice. It was evident that after our second goal that we couldn’t possess, and we couldn’t absorb NYCFC’s attack forever. Had Niko Hansen and Kekuta Manneh been subbed in earlier, this game may have ended up differently.
The Ugly: NYCFC’s goals. All three of them were ugly because we should have done better. Two of their goals were caused by our own bad passes leading to giveaways in our half of the field. After we lost the ball before their first goal, it seemed as if all the Crew SC players had been paused or put into slow motion as NYCFC tore through our players and scored. Their last goal was a bad pass into our own box that should have never been placed there in the first place. This is reminiscent of last year’s defensive woes that we haven’t seen as many times this year. So, if our defense could just remain in 2017 and not flashback to 2016, we would all appreciate it.
The Beautiful: Our goals were fun goals to watch. We just didn’t score enough of them. Higuaín’s volley from a beautiful Raitala cross was sharp and taken without hesitation. Not to be outdone, Ola Kamara tried a similar kind of volley a little bit later in the game and almost had another goal. Our second goal was accomplished by some hustle by Ethan Finlay who rattled a NYCFC defender enough to recover the ball and send it across the middle. Using some unseen sense, Higuaín let the ball go between his legs with a deft step to a waiting Ola Kamara who sent it into the goal. I want more of these kind of goals every game, but honestly, I’ll just take more goals than our opponent–even if they aren’t as pretty as these.
All in all, this was a game that should have been a win for Crew SC as NYCFC was missing Pirlo and Villa. We have a few more home games before hitting the road, and I’m looking forward to seeing who this Crew SC team is.
Featured image courtesy: Columbus Crew facebook
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