Columbus’ door to the playoffs is falling off its hinges. The Crew lost in their first ever visit to Livestrong Sporting Park on Wednesday night, 2-1. Julius James scored an own goal off a throw in (yes, you read that correctly) in the 74th minute, giving the former Wiz a victory.
The loss knocks the Crew out of one of the top three spots in the East, which are automatically given playoff berths. The Massive Canaries are sitting on 41 points (11-12-8) and are now under .500 for the season. However, as I’m writing this, they are still in a playoff spot, but only by a three point margin.
Sporting Kansas City continued their steady climb up the table with the win. They are holding on to sole possession of first place in the East with 44 points (11-9-11).
On the other hand, the late season downfall of the Crew continues. Columbus is 0-5-1 in their previous six games. Since Robert Warzycha’s contract extension was announced, the Crew have only picked up a measly one point in a five game span.
Former Crew player Kei Kamara opened the scoring for the night in the 14th minute from the penalty spot. Chad Marshall made a very un-Chad-like lunge at the ball while C.J. Sapong attempted to dribble around him in the box. Kamara’s shot from the spot went in for his 9th MLS goal of the season.
Emilio Renteria was able to tie the game before the interval. Robbie Rogers gathered the ball near midfield. From there, he attacked SKC’s defense before laying off a nice pass to Renteria in the center of the field. Renteria took a controlling touch, and he blasted a right-footed shot past Jimmy Nielsen and into the left corner.
The Crew shot themselves in the foot later in the game, as they have many times before this season. Off a long throw in by Matt Besler, defender Julius James out jumped everyone to win the ball. Unfortunately, his header went the wrong way, and the ball looped over William Hesmer and into the goal. Crew fans’ hearts and playoff hopes went away faster than one could even say, “They scored an own goal off a long throw in.”
Columbus will continue their attempts to correct their current run of form on Sunday, when they play host to rivals D.C. United. Kansas City travel to San Jose to take on the Earthquakes Saturday night.
Columbus Crew – William Hesmer, Sebastian Miranda, Chad Marshall, Julius James, Shaun Francis, Dilly Duka (Jeff Cunningham 84), Emmanuel Ekpo, Andres Mendoza, Kevin Burns, Robbie Rogers (Tommy Heinemann 83), Emilio Renteria (Justin Meram 71).
Sporting Kansas City – Jimmy Nielsen, Seth Sinovic, Matt Besler, Aurelien Collin, Chance Myers, Julio Cesar, Graham Zusi, Davy Arnaud (Lawrence Olum 77), C.J. Sapong, Omar Bravo (Michael Harrington 89), Kei Kamara.
If you hadn’t noticed, I was unable to post a preview for this game due to an extremely busy schedule. I know, not very massive of me.