That was the case for Columbus on Saturday night. The Crew had two goals disallowed and also hit the crossbar, but the Vancouver Whitecaps ended the game as 1-0 winners.
The lone goal came in the 74th minute. Crew midfielder Danny O’Rourke was late on his attempt to slide tackle the ball away from Whitecaps forward Eric Hassli. The resulting free kick from the right side of the penalty box was taken by left back Lee Young-Pyo. Anticipating a cross, goalie Andy Gruenebaum took one step forward upon Lee striking the ball. However, Lee went for goal instead of sending in a cross, and the ball dipped over Gruenebaum’s hand and into the top-left corner of the goal.
The starting XI for Columbus remained the same from their previous game with one exception: rookie Aaron Schoenfeld replaced Emilio Renteria at forward. Vancouver lined up in a 4-3-3 formation.
Columbus started off the game as well as they did against Houston, with most of their best chances to score coming in the first twenty minutes.
In the third minute, Milovan Mirosevic’s corner kick found Josh Williams near the far post. Williams scored on the volley with the side of his right foot. It would have been WIlliams’ first career MLS goal. However, the referee called the goal back on a “foul” by Chad Marshall. Marshall challenged for the ball before it went over his head, knocking down a Whitecaps player in the process. There was no real foul, and the goal definitely should have stood.
Just three minutes later, the Crew had another goal called back. This one was a little more obvious as to why it shouldn’t have counted. Forward Olman Vargas sent a cross into the box from the right side with his left foot. Schoenfeld chested the ball to midfielder Eddie Gaven, who controlled the ball and half-volleyed it past Whitecaps goalie Joe Cannon. However, Gaven was half a step offside when Schoenfeld laid the ball off to him.
Schoenfeld and Gaven connected again in the 11th minute. Schoenfeld ran down the ball on the right wing and sent in a left-footed cross. Gaven surged into the box to meet the ball with his head, but it sailed just over the crossbar.
The Crew kept pushing for an early goal. In the 16th minute, Nemanja Vukovic’s corner found Chad Marshall, who headed the ball back across the box. Josh Williams, obviously in the mood to score, attempted to bicycle kick the ball out of the air. The ball pinged off the crossbar and out. Williams will have to wait a little longer to score his first professional goal.
Right before the half, Schoenfeld received a pass at the top of the box from Mirosevic. He took a couple of controlling touches before unleashing a shot that Cannon had to parry wide. The half ended, 0-0.
Columbus started the second half just like they had played in the first. Vargas took a shot in the box which was deflected. Gaven got to the loose ball before Cannon did, but his shot hit the side netting.
Schoenfeld played a great game and was one of, if not the most, dangerous players on the field for Columbus. Unfortunately, he suffered an achilles injury and was forced to come off in the 57th minute. Fellow rookie Ethan Finlay replaced him up top.
After Vancouver’s goal, the Crew ran out of offensive fight. They didn’t produce any more good chances to score, and the game ended 1-0, increasing their winless streak to four games.