Vancouver Whitecaps FC earned a 3-1 victory over Columbus Crew SC Saturday night and finally found their shooting boots after a seven-game run that yielded just a single goal. With both teams languishing at the bottom of their conferences, tonight’s game was a must win for both, but the result would seem to have ended any hopes of Crew SC still achieving a playoff spot.
The games started late with a 98-minute weather delay, the fifth Columbus has experienced this year. With heavy rain falling before kickoff, the grounds crew did a fantastic job to get the surface ready to play with very little standing water allowing the ball to move freely for most part.
Columbus started with an experimental formation of 3-4-2-1, with three center backs and Harrison Afful and Corey Ashe pushing forward into midfield. Crew SC opened the scoring on ten minutes with a flying kung fu kick finish from Ola Kamara, his first since 23rd July against Orlando City. The chance came from a Mohammed Saeid right side corner and Kamara got the run on his marker to apply the acrobatic finish.
The lead only lasted three minutes thanks to a Sauro own goal which brought some relief to Vancouver’s goal scoring problems. Russell Teibert delivered a harmless left field cross that Parkhurst flicked on and Sauro miscued into the bottom right corner of Steve Clark’s goal.
The rest of the half was uneventful, with Columbus dominating both the possession and passing stats, but were unable to produce any quality in the final third to test David Ousted in Vancouver’s goal.
The second half had become a dour affair until the Afful decided to try his luck from range. First a long range cross nearly sneaked in at the far post with Ousted struggling to get across. Then on 69 minutes from the edge of the area he collected a cleared corner and lashed a fierce shot just over.
The Whitecaps took the lead on 74 minutes thanks to a thunderous 25-yard strike from Andrew Jacobson. He was allowed time and space to bring the ball forward from midfield, and without a Crew SC player closing him down, beat Clark to the right side of goal.
Columbus were getting ragged chasing the game and from a left field corner, David Edgar broke free and his volley was parried by Clark, with Erik Hurtado following up to apply the finish.
To compound the misery for Columbus a frustrated Tony Tchani got shown a straight red card in the 86th minute for a needless off the ball kick at Hurtado.