COLUMBUS, OHIO (September 22, 2018) – Columbus Crew SC got one step closer to clinching a playoff spot on Saturday night. The defeated Colorado Rapids 2-1 with goals from Gyasi Zardes and Federico Higuain, winning it after a Deklan Wynne red card in the second half.
Columbus Crew SC beat Colorado Rapids 2-1 after Deklan Wynne red card
The Black and Gold had the better of the chances and more of them in the first half. Forward Gyasi Zardes opened the scoring in the 17th minute. After some good ball movement to get into the final third. Justin Meram cut towards the middle of the pitch to find Federico Higuain. Pipa flicked the ball with a nice touch towards Zardes, who stayed onside and beat goalkeeper Tim Howard with the Rapids caught off-guard.
Colorado argued for the play to be called off-sides. Head official Allen Chapman appeared to converse via his headset with the VAR, but the goal stood.
The Rapids pulled one back in the 26th minute on one of just two first-half shots. Enzo Martinez won a foul at the top of the box after a nice run on the counter. Shkelzen Gashi, making just his second start in three months, took it. With Columbus setting up their wall but the official ready for play to resume, Gashi struck a ball to the far post. Zac Steffen was out of position setting up his wall and the goal stood.
The half ended 1-1.
The two sides traded chances in the start of the second half before the match turned on its head. In the 51st minute, Wynne went in for a challenge on Pedro Santos. With his knee making contact to the back of the opponent and was given a straight red card.
After that, the game turned into a shooting gallery for the Crew. Higuain, Santos, and Zardes all got several chances. Higuain got the game-winner in the 57th minute after Artur was able to bring a long ball down into the box, draw two defenders, towards him, and get the ball to the Higuian right in front of goal.
The match ended 2-1 with Columbus firmly in control of the final 30 minutes.
The red card decided the game: Both teams were in it after the first half, but the red card to Wynne decided the game. Colorado were only getting a few chances and the sending off forced them to bunker, having already spent a sub on an injured Marlon Hairston. With no fullback support and the midfield overrun, Columbus bossed the game.
Possession doesn’t compute: Colorado had most of the ball but almost nothing going on in the final third. They had three total shots in the game and none after going down a man. The team is struggling to create chances and make opposing center backs work.
Crew creating but not converting: Columbus had a plethora of opportunities. All their attackers had good looks at goal. There’s no doubt they can create chances, but the finishing touch has been missing at times. They could have been up at half time and should have won by multiple goals.