Columbus Crew SC’s trend of letting in second half goals looks to be continuing this season as they opened with a 1-1 draw against the Chicago Fire. Over 75% of their goals conceded last season came in the second half and a crisp David Accam finish continued this trend.
The first half was energetic and bright from the Crew with a lineup containing four league debutants, though it was the familiar front four that was shining.
Justin Meram should have opened the scoring after only three minutes thanks to Ethan Finlay’s direct run and cutback which found him free but he could only manage to shot straight at Jorge Bava.
The lead came on 17 minutes from a rare Finlay header for his 30th career goal. Meram was giving space on the left side and his pinpoint cross was glanced into the far corner.
The second half did start well for Columbus and Ola Kamara will feel unlucky not to have secured the second goal. Federico Higuain’s lofted pass found him running behind the Fire’s defense and his close range shot was well saved by Brava.
That was as good as it got for Crew SC as their level started to drop and misplaced passes became common with Higuain just partially guilty.
The equalizer came on 73 minutes as Accam received a deflected pass and turned Jonathan Mensah to give himself space to curl into the bottom corner.
Crew SC had lost their composure and confidence now and were lucky not to lose the game. Michael de Leeuw had Chicago’s best chance to secure three points but he could only shoot weakly at Zack Steffen.
The positive takeaway for Columbus will be their four debutants all looked at home in this Columbus team though they will need to cure their second half blues if they expect to be challenging for the playoffs.
15,023 turned out for the early March matchup with larger crowds expected in the near future as the weather improves. You never know what you are going to get in Ohio in March.