Erik Hurtado wasn’t exactly entering the match in the easiest of situations.
Two minutes earlier, Adam Buksa gave the New England Revolution the lead, prompting the Polish striker to run toward supporters and celebrate. The Revs, who were once down, 1-0, were eight minutes from a win.
But then Hurtado, who had yet to score for the Crew since he joined the team last summer, got his opportunity in front of goal and pounced.
As Lucas Zelarayán, who stood centrally, played a through ball to the right flank toward Derrick Etienne Jr., Hurtado began his run from the left side. Etienne took a touch, the whipped a low cross into the area. Hurtado then completed his 30-yard run by burying a first-time finish past Matt Turner, equalizing the match.
For Hurtado, he scored his first goal for the Black & Gold in his 150 MLS appearance. His last league goal came in the final matchday in 2020.
As for the Crew, the equalizer earned Columbus a point on the road against New England, keeping the team unbeaten in its last three matches.
“New England thought the game was done and I think our mentality to keep fighting,” head coach Caleb Porter said after the draw. “For a guy like Erik to come into the game and to score that goal for us says everything about our team, our locker room, the fight that we have, the mentality that we have.”
It was the club’s other striker, Miguel Berry, who opened the scoring on Saturday evening. The goal was a well-worked one, as Pedro Santos dribbled atop the box, then played a pass toward Etienne, who sprinted down the right side. He then played the ball back into the middle toward Berry, who scored his second goal of the season – and his first since the campaign opener in February.
“Great for Miguel to get that goal.” Porter said. “Obviously, it had been maybe six, seven games since he had scored. Since the first game of the year. Maybe eight. He has been working hard, his attitude has been great, and I think he was rewarded for all his work. So that was great to see.”
The main takeaway from Saturday night’s draw is that the club handled adversity and the two strikers were able to make the score sheet.
Porter said the team played with Etienne as a “band aid” right back after Marlon Hairston, who was expected to start, got injured in warmups. Etienne, who played right back for the club last season in 2021 Concacaf Champions League, responded by producing his first match with two assists in his MLS career.
“I think for us to come here and get a result is a real positive and back to your point, we did it with a lot of adversity,” Porter said. “Obviously, Steven [Moreira] out, in, we prep[are] all week and in the warm-up he's out. So, we have to “band-aid” our right back with Derrick Etienne, and he gets two assists on the day … We keep getting points, we keep momentum forward and we'll take this result.”
Columbus seeks to keep the momentum rolling as they head to New York and battle the defending MLS Cup Champions, New York City FC on Saturday, May 14 at 7:00 p.m.
The Crew’s next home game at Lower.com Field is May 21 against Los Angeles Football Club, and tickets are available to see one of the marquee matchups of the season.
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