Columbus Crew at D.C. United: Match Night Commentary

Columbus Crew at D.C. United: Match Night Commentary

MLS- Columbus Crew

Columbus Crew at D.C. United: Match Night Commentary

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CLB_Primary_COL DCU_Primary_COL

By AVI CREDITOR

After the Los Angeles Galaxy scored a late equalizer to manage a point out of its match at Chicago on Saturday, the door is open for the Columbus Crew to pull even with the Galaxy in the chase for the Supporters' Shield.

To do that, the Crew will need to defeat D.C. United in Washington (7:30 p.m., Fox Soccer Channel) for the second time in four days. Columbus outlasted D.C. in a physical, somewhat controversial U.S. Open Cup semifinal on Wednesday, with Guillermo Barros Schelotto's penalty kick in extra time being the difference. If the Crew can beat United, they'll be level with the Galaxy on points with seven matches remaining for both sides.

D.C. is playing for pride and a bit of revenge, after having its Open Cup hopes thwarted by the Crew in deflating fashion.

I'll be providing live commentary from RFK Stadium, so please feel free to follow along and share any opinions and thoughts in the comments section below. Enjoy the match (commentary after the jump):

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POSTGAME – That's all for me from RFK for now. Thanks for following along, and be sure to check back on SBI for postgame reaction from the locker room and other results from this weekend in MLS. Have a great night!

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POSTGAME – Not a surprise to see a sloppy effort four days after both teams went 120 minutes against each other. D.C. ends without a shot on goal, Columbus comes up with two, and the only goal is scored on a horrific keeper gaffe. The Crew will take it, no question.

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POSTGAME – Columbus has pulled into a dead heat with the Los Angeles Galaxy in the race for the Supporters' Shield. Both teams have identical 13-5-5 records with seven games to go. 

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90th Minute – That's the final whistle! Columbus 1, D.C. 0. Schelotto's goal off Hamid's error holds up.

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90th Minute – Hesmer comes out to catch Quaranta's desperate cross, and that should do it.

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90th Minute – Mendoza offside, stoppage time nearly exhausted.

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90th Minute – Mendoza makes his Columbus debut, replacing Schelotto.

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90th Minute -Two minutes of stoppage time.

Andres Mendoza is set to check in.

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90th Minute – Columbus possessing to kill the clock, and King yields a corner that will help the Crew continue to do just that.

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87th Minute – Devon McTavish set to check in for Morsink. Not a good sign. That allows Simms to move forward to his usual midfield slot, though.

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86th Minute – Morsink goes down in a heap after taking a ball off his shin. United momentarily down to 10 men while Morsink gets tended to on the sideline. Last thing D.C. needs is another injury.

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85th Minute – Lenhart goes high again! Gaven's cross found Lenhart in the center of the area, but his header went begging.

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84th Minute – Calm defending by Gaven to chest down a cross, which was aimed for Graye, back to Hesmer. Very cool under pressure.

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83rd Minute – Set piece is easily headed away by Brian Carroll, who's quietly done a nice job tonight. That said, the central midfield battle wasn't exactly between a who's who of all-stars.

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82nd Minute – D.C. earns a corner as time starts to slip away…

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81st Minute – Grand total of two shots on goal tonight. One on the gimme from Hamid, the other by Gaven this half. 

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79th Minute – Lenhart misses just high! Just like that, Schelotto plays Lenhart in on goal with a sublime touch, and the forward rockets a shot high and to the right. Where has that been all night?

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78th Minute – Crew bringing numbers back as only Lenhart and Schelotto are aren't involved defensively.

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77th Minute – Substitution for Columbus, as Jason Garey comes on for Dilly Duka. One substitution left for Columbus, two for D.C.

Not a great first start for Duka, but he needs more minutes, and tonight's definitely a step in that direction for him.

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74th Minute – Najar, now on the left, tries to catch Hesmer of his line, but the shot isn't close to the target. With Najar on the left and Graye on the right, D.C. has two speedsters that could burn Columbus from the outside.

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72nd Minute – Very surprised to see Schelotto still out there, and no real indication that a sub is coming anytime soon. For what it's worth, Columbus has a week in between matches, so I suppose Warzycha can afford to leave him out there.

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70th Minute – Hernandez has his own blocked shot deflect back to him for a second look, but he skies the 16-yard attempt from a right-side angle. Good effort. D.C. needs more going toward the goal. 

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67th Minute – Duka and Schelotto try to work a give-and-go down the right, but Zayner reads it like he knows the Crew's playbook.

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66th Minute – Lenhart meets Hamid, then the post while going up for a Schelotto corner. Double whammy.

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65th Minute – Moreno gets a spring in his step but crosses to nobody but Hesmer in the box. Not sure what he saw or hoped for.

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63rd Minute – Columbus is remarkably unremarkable offensively. And yet the Crew are less than 30 minutes away from grinding out a crucial three points.

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61st Minute – 12,075 announced attendance. Almost 9,000 more than there was on Wednesday night when these two did battle in a match with Cup implications.

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60th Minute – Jaime Moreno gets a nice hand as he gets introduced replacing Danny Allsopp. Tough night for the Aussie striker, who missed a couple of early chances for United.

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59th Minute – Poll time. Like we said in the intro, if Columbus wins this match, the Crew will tie the Galaxy for the most points in the league. The question for you is:

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58th Minute – Hamid outleaps Iro at the edge of the six after Marshall flicked on a long free kick.

Duka picks up a yellow for a hard challenge on Quaranta.

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57th Minute – Graye and Gaven get tangled up on the left side, and Graye picks up a yellow card.

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54th Minute – More indecisive thinking kills a would-be D.C. chance. O'Rourke whiffed on a King cross, leaving Quaranta open 15 yards from goal, but he elected to dribble closer to the target and got predictably stuffed by two defenders.

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53rd Minute – Can't see Schelotto going longer than 60 minutes after playing 120 Wednesday and having the Crew ahead in this one. Subs barely stretching out on the Crew bench as of now.

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52nd Minute – Hamid comes up with a great stop of a curling Gaven shot to keep the deficit at one. Best save of the night so far.

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50th Minute – Najar finds King in the box and instead of taking a look at goal, King defers to Hernandez outside of the area. Not good decision making there.

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48th Minute – No halftime subs for either team, by the way.

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47th Minute – Harsh challenge to Allsopp from behind is going to earn a yellow card for Shaun Francis.

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46th Minute – Welcome back.

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HALFTIME – Weary legs undoubtedly playing a part for both teams. Columbus has the luxury of playing it safe the rest of the way while D.C. presses for an equalizer. Watch for the Crew counterattack in the second half.

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HALFTIME – Columbus 1, D.C. 0. Not a pretty half by any stretch, and Columbus hardly looked threatening offensively, but a Bill Hamid howler gives the Crew the driver's seat.

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45th Minute – Yellow card to Hernandez for bumping Schelotto from behind while the Argentine was trying to kick the ball. Odds on a Hernandez card tonight were 1/8.

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45th Minute – One minute of stoppage time.

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44th Minute – Nice cross from Graye on the right off the overlapping run, but Iro is up to the task in the box. 

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41st Minute – Zayner smothers Duka in the right corner. Not like they hadn't gone up against each other in training while Zayner was still with Columbus.

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39th Minute – Marshall gets the wrong end of a 50-50 challenge by Hernandez and earns a foul in his own box. Everyone seems to have moved on from Wednesday's antics.

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38th Minute – Gaven finally gets into the action as he tries to beat out James to a long ball down the left, but he ends up shoving the United defender and gets whistled for it. Quiet night for Columbus offensively, aside from Hamid's gift.

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36th Minute – Najar applies tremendous pressure on the right, having the ball poked from behind and nearly into the far post. What a weapon for D.C. to build around for the future.

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34th Minute – King takes advantage of a miscommunication between Marshall and Burns to pounce on a loose ball in the attacking zone, but his cross for Najar isn't good enough.

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32nd Minute – Lenhart gets fouled by James again and the D.C. defender gets the eye from referee Hilario Grajeda. One more and we're probably looking at a yellow card, which would make James ineligible for D.C.'s next match.

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29th Minute – Quaranta pushes the other way with United earning a corner.

Shaun Francis coming on for Gino Padula. The injury has to be affecting him, and that's one sub that Warzycha can't use for weary legs now.

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27th Minute – Schelotto puts Duka in on goal on the right and the rookie battles with Zayner to earn a Columbus corner.

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26th Minute – Sad thing is, D.C. was controlling the run of play. It looked like Columbus was content to wait until D.C. made a brutal mistake, and that's exactly how things played out. The Crew must watch a lot of game film.

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24th Minute – Just when you think you've seen everything…

Hamid tried to volley a backpass to his stronger right foot, and he whiffed on the ensuing kick, giving Schelotto an open look from close range. My goodness.

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23rd Minute GOAL COLUMBUS!! AWFUL MISTAKE BY HAMID GIFTS SCHELOTTO A GOAL! 1-0 COLUMBUS

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20th Minute – Allsopp can't finish again! Najar lasered in a cross from the right to the top of the six, but Allsopp's touch wasn't there. That was a simpler chance than the first one.

Behind the play, Gino Padula appeared to twist an ankle, but he's running it off.

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16th Minute – United looking calm and collected in an extended possession, but the final pass is lacking. Raise your hand if that sounds familiar.

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14th Minute – Allsopp had King streaking behind the defense, but his pass is weighted too heavily and Hesmer collects.

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12th Minute – Good for Duka to get these minutes in a meaningful match. Other than a 15-minute stint against Real Salt Lake on Aug. 14, his first league campaign has been spent riding the pine, so this extended run should help him get his feet a little bit more wet.

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9th Minute – Can't help but feel for Jed Zayner. Poor guy gets dealt from the perennial contender he's spent his whole career with to the league's cellar dweller AND has to face them twice within a month of the trade. At least he's getting solid playing time, though.

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8th Minute – WOW inches wide left on the free kick by Schelotto.

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7th Minute – Lenhart earns a foul on James giving Columbus a good early chance from 25 yards.

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6th Minute – Allsopp just high with the header! GREAT cross from the left by Quaranta and Allsopp's close-ranger header flies over the bar.

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3rd Minute – Hernandez earns a corner after a strong shoulder-to-shoulder run with Chad Marshall. Julius James' header off the corner goes wide to the endline, where Quaranta is offside in receiving the ball.

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2nd Minute – Stadium hardly full on a beautiful night for a soccer match.

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1st Minute – Columbus gets us underway with the opening kick, moving left to right.

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PREGAME – In case you need a refresher from Wednesday night:

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(Photo by Tony Quinn/ISIphotos.com)

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PREGAME – Can't wait to see the first Pablo Hernandez-Danny O'Rourke encounter tonight.

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PREGAME – For Columbus, first-round (eighth-overall) pick Dilly Duka gets his first start in a Major League Soccer match, and Guillermo Barros Schelotto starts despite playing 120 minutes on Wednesday. Peruvian striker and new signing Andres Mendoza is on the bench and available for Robert Warzycha.

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PREGAME – Why the limited substitutes for D.C.? Branko Boskovic and Dejan Jakovic are on international duty; Rodney Wallace, Marc Burch, Chris Pontius, Adam Cristman and Barry Rice are all injured. Yikes.

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PREGAME – Yup, only five subs available for D.C., midfielder Clyde Simms is playing centerback and Bill Hamid is starting in goal even though his agent says he'll likely need shoulder surgery in the upcoming weeks.

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PREGAME – Here are tonight's lineups:

COLUMBUS CREW

———–Lenhart—-Barros Schelotto———-

—-Gaven—–Carroll——-Burns—–Duka—-

—-O'Rourke—–Iro—–Marshall—–Padula—-

———————-Hesmer———————–

SUBS: Brunner, Francis, Oughton, Griffit, Garey, Mendoza, Gruenebaum

D.C. UNITED

———Hernandez——-Allsopp———

–Quaranta—-King—-Morsink—-Najar–

—Zayner—-James—Simms—Graye—

——————-Hamid——————

SUBS: Pena, Talley, McTavish, Moreno, Perkins

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