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Crew and Cruz Azul battle for first place in Group C


Heading into the fourth round of CONCACAF Champions League and the leaders are separating themselves from the pack. Nowhere is this more evident than Group C, where Columbus and Cruz Azul have a small lead ahead of the bottom two teams in the group, Saprissa and Puerto Rico. 

With the way the standings are set, the winner of tonight's match is in the driver's seat to at least snag one of the top two spots in the group and advance to the quarterfinals. There will be an obvious motive of revenge for the Crew, who were pummeled 5-0 when the two met in Mexico.

The Crew are right in the thick of a tight stretch of the schedule, and tonight's match will be the first of three in just seven days. Robert Warzycha has seen his lead in the East shrink a bit, but Columbus remains in control with a a three-point lead and a game in hand on Chicago, and tied with Houston in a bid for back-to-back Supporters' Shields.

Rounding out tonight's CCL action is Toluca taking on San Juan Jabloten, as the Mexicans look to grab a stranglehold on Group B, and Comunicaciones hosting W Connection. A win for the El Salvadoran club would have them poised for a quarterfinal berth.

What do you think of Columbus' chances tonight? Can they knock off Cruz Azul? How will they handle this busy stretch of the schedule? Share your thoughts below.


  1. First off, the elbow to Lenhart’s face should’ve been a red card for the Azuli who did it. It was pro-wrestling move that deserved a pro-wrestling response.

    Second, Hesmer should’ve had a yellow card for the retaliation on it all.
    O’Rourke probably should’ve had one for the pushing right before it, but by then, there were 3-4 other Azulis who should’ve been carrying yellow.

    When the defense has to back off because they know the refs are quick with the cards on the Americans and will never, ever give one to the favored sons of CONCACAF soccer (the Mexicans) then yes, scoring on the Americans looks easy.

    I’ll tell you what, tho – if I’m Columbus, the next Mexican that takes a swing at any of my guys gets gang-tackled by Brunner, O’Rourke, Moffatt, and Padula. If they’re getting screwed anyway, they might as well make the opponent think twice about coming in hard because of the personal pain that will befall him. I’m not one to advocate street justice, but that crap last night was HORRIBLE. Columbus was forced to play scared on defense because they’d been burned by Brunner’s red card in Mexico and the ref calling a dreadfully uneven game in this one.

    Finally, can someone, ANYONE, explain how Jair Marrufo was the 4th official on this game?!

    He was suspended by his own country for being a sh!tty ref, so let’s send him back to work a game not only involving that league, but with one of the teams where his integrity was completely abandoned in the line of his professional duties.

  2. Those at the match saw the Crew control the game for a significant portion and pour out 22 shots. Cruz Azul’s goalkeeper and the post/crossbar allowed Azul to keep the lead and get the win. Cruz Azul is a quality side, no doubt, but the Crew were very unlucky and generally played very well.

  3. Go Azul! Spanking the Crew in Columbus. Who says Mexico can’t win in Columbus? And doing it with a number of second stringers. Even Huiqi is playing!

  4. Wow, what an ugly game. The crew are lucky they haven’t had a few sent off (#5 in the middle I think). I can’t stand mexican clubs and hope the Crew can pull it out, but they’ve got to find their composure first. At 1-0 with 10 min left in the first, I said out loud, ‘please get out only down 1-0 with all 11 men’…well they got one thing done.

  5. Offense actually looked decent for the Crew, but the defense is getting badly beaten. I still think Crew can take something from this game, they just need to put one in quickly.

  6. Im at the crew game right now. refs are letting azul get away with blatant elbows to the face. you dont realize how classless some players can be until u watch a mex. team play in person. refs letting them get away with assault. the azul fans are acting just as classless as well.

  7. Crew getting pushed around at home on nearly every 50/50 challenge.

    Crew RB runs at Azul striker stomps his feet and attacker nutmegs him and runs past him.

    MLS clubs who do not attack this defender at every opportunity are crazy.

  8. Rogers puts a cross into the end zone seats. His next cross attempt he nearly misses the entire ball. Cruz Azul breaks, Columbus RB takes two wild swings at ball and misses both times. Azul striker walks in and scores.


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