Friday, July 23, 2021

FC Cincinnati 2-2 Columbus Crew: Reigning MLS Cup champions fight back in Ohio derby

SoccerNews in MLS 10 Jul 2021

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MLS’ last fixture before the international break proved a feisty one, with 10-man Columbus Crew coming back to draw 2-2 with rivals FC Cincinnati.

Aiming for their third win in four games, Jaap Stam’s Cincinnati team were ahead inside 24 seconds when Edgar Castillo’s powerful effort found the roof of the net, sending the huge crowd at TQL Stadium into raptures.

It marked Castillo’s first strike in three seasons, as well as bringing up the fastest goal of the 2021 MLS campaign.

Lucho Acosta’s third goal for Cincinnati – who recorded their first win over the Crew last season – put the hosts 2-0 ahead before the half-hour mark, and Columbus seemed all but down and out when Harrison Afful received his second yellow card in the 42nd minute.

Yet Caleb Porter’s team hit back in stoppage time, Lucas Zelarayan’s wonderful long-range effort leaving Kenneth Vermeer flat-footed as it found the bottom-left corner.

It was a momentum the Crew carried with them into the second half and, in the 77th minute, substitute Miguel Berry tucked in his first MLS goal to restore parity.

Though no doubt disappointed to miss out on a morale-boosting win, the draw does at least snap a six-match losing streak at home for Cincinnati, who sit 11th in the Eastern Conference.

They are three places and five points shy of the Crew, whose focus now will be on pushing for a playoff spot.

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