The Black and Gold’s 2016 U.S. Open Cup campaign has come to an end following a 2-1 road defeat to the Chicago Fire. Accam’s two first half goals turned out to be the difference.
Columbus Crew SC Out of 2016 U.S. Open Cup After 2-1 Defeat to Chicago Fire
The Ghanaian’s first score came in the seventh minute. Taking advantage of a Crew SC turnover in their end, Accam took the ball from the left and tucked in towards the box. He then blasted a curling shot from just outside the 18 that beat Columbus goalkeeper Brad Stuver far post.
22 minutes later, Accam struck again. This time, he took advantage of some poor communication between Hector Jimenez and Chad Barson. He timed his run towards goal well and was able to find a Rodrigo Ramos cross from the right, one-timing the ball past Stuver. Nick LaBrocca was credited with a secondary assist on the goal.
Gregg Berhalter had Crew SC come out in a 3-4-2-1 formation in Bridgeview. Throughout the first half, it appeared that the side were lacking in defensive width. This is one of the risks associated with a three man back line.
Jimenez and Waylon Francis were slotted into more advanced positions in the midfield. This seemed to make it more difficult for them to track back and provide defensive cover on the flanks. It tended to show on both of Accam’s goals.
The Black and Gold generated plenty of action in the attacking third. However, much of this action was not of the purposeful variety. Columbus outshot Chicago 16-11 on the game, but only two of Crew SC’s shots were on target.
This included a 79th minute penalty kick goal from Ethan Finlay. The Crew SC winger came on for Ola Kamara at halftime. This positioned him more as a center forward for the second straight 2016 U.S. Open Cup game.
The penalty was awarded after a Finlay shot deflected off the hand of Fire defender Johan Kappelhof. Though it appeared to be inadvertent contact, referee Nima Saghafi pointed to the spot. Finlay converted to halve Chicago’s lead.
But it proved not to be enough.
Tuesday’s loss marks continued frustration for Crew SC against their rivals in the U.S. Open Cup. The Black and Gold have yet to win against the Fire in the tournament and have now lost six in a row. The club has also been eliminated in the Round of 16 for the sixth consecutive season.
2-1. Final. #CrewSC fails advance to a USOC quarterfinal for 13th time in 14 years.
— Shawn Mitchell (@smitchcd) June 29, 2016
Crew SC returns to action this coming Sunday as they face Sporting Kansas City on the road. It will be the Black and Gold’s second appearance on national TV. The game kicks off at 7 PM ET an can be seen on Fox Sports 1.
Photo courtesy of Columbus Crew SC Communications.