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VAR steals the show as Crew take down Galaxy

Photo by Greg Bartram/USA Today Sports

There were a couple of goals between the Columbus Crew and the LA Galaxy, but there were also two penalties called and three video replays in what turned out to be an entertaining 2-0 victory for the Crew at MAPFRE Stadium on Wednesday night.

The game’s opening goal came in the last minute of the first half, with new signing Pedro Santos linking up with Ola Kamara. Santos saw Kamara in the penalty area, and from distance passed to the forward through a crowd. From there, the finish was easy for Kamara, who was near the goal.

Before that, though, video review was called upon after Ashley Cole took down Santos near the penalty area. After reviewing the play, Cole was sent off, with the Galaxy going down to ten after only 18 minutes.

Six minutes later, VAR again came to the Crew’s aid, as the home side was awarded a penalty. Federico Higuain stepped up to take it, but took it poorly, making it an easy save for Jon Kempin.

Daniel Steres grabbed a goal midway through the first half, but after another replay, the goal was called offside, leaving the match scoreless yet again.

The second half saw the Crew earn yet another penalty, with Kempin taking down Kamara, who ended up taking the spot kick. Kempin again made the stop, and in the 79th minute, there was still only one goal in the game.

Finally, in the 90th minute, the Crew doubled their lead, putting the game to bed. Kekuta Manneh sent a quick pass to Justin Meram, who slotted home from distance.

The match marks LA’s third consecutive loss and the team is without a win since June in league play. As for the Crew, they stay in the playoff hunt with the win.

Man of the Match

Pedro Santos made his home debut, and he did not disappoint. He recorded the first assist of the night, which was a clever ball to Ola Kamara. Additionally, he pestered the opposing defense all night, including being involved in the foul that led to Ashley Cole’s sending off.

Moment of the Match

VAR almost stole Man of the Match honors as one of the more active participants of the night. The first half, in particular, was dominated by the replays, as the referee consulted it on three separate occasions, all in dramatic calls. Ashley Cole’s red card, Columbus Crew’s first penalty, and LA Galaxy’s goal being ruled offside were calls made with the assistance of video replay.

Match to Forget

Ashley Cole did not last very long on the night. Recording only 18 minutes before getting sent off, he did so with a harsh foul on Pedro Santos. He left his team with limited resources, and the score indicated so at full time.


  1. I watched the replay of the red card play about 4 times. I thought it was a terrible call and I don’t think it even deserved a card. VAR was not the problem, but the people reviewing that call was. Cole came in from about a 45 degree angle, not behind, got the ball, but took out the man. He took out the player with his thighs, his studs weren’t up. It was a foul, but nothing more.

  2. Love it! Not only is it results in eliminating 80-90% of bad calls (among those that really matter), it’s also attracting more attention. Think about it. There would be no comments to this article if not for VAR

    • Kind of sad that VAR was needed for these calls. I get the feeling that the author of this article is biased as the word “steals” has a rather negative connotation. CCSC benefited from VAR in the sense that ultimately the right calls were made.

      Higuain was back from injury. Hopefully he’ll be better in the next game. Poor PK.

      Meram was working hard but a bit wasteful with his opportunities in front of goal.

      A lot of unnecessary turnovers from the Crew, they really struggled putting the game away early.

    • LAG fan here: I thought it was the right call on the goal. Pedro was offsides and he clearly touched the ball. No problem there. The red card on Cole was a joke. there was contact, but he was passed the Crew player and clearly got the ball. How do you go from not even a yellow card to a red card?

      If VAR is to work, it needs to be done in the booth almost in real time. You can’t award a goal, have Columbus get read to kick off, then take it away. I know that 3 VAR reviews in one half is not the norm (yet), but you’re talking about 3-5 minutes in most halves. So it kills the flow of the game.


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