The Columbus Crew nearly pulled off a dramatic comeback yet again Saturday night, as the Club’s courageous attacking efforts led to an equalizer late in the match as stoppage time neared.
The only difference this time, though, was Aidan Morris’ 89th-minute equalizer was disallowed as he was ruled offside. With that, Columbus lost, 1-0, to Charlotte FC at Bank of America Stadium and suffered a minor setback ahead of Wednesday night’s upcoming midweek game.
“This is the way it is but I'm proud of the way the players fought in terms of trying to score the goal,” head coach Wilfried Nancy said of the attacking play. “I don’t like to talk about home game, away game, but the reality is that it was an away game, and we were close to coming back with a good mentality.
“I would say that we could have done better in certain situations, to be more brave on the ball and to be more brave also to accept the 1-v-1 behind, and to recognize the moment to play a little bit quicker, but really good second half, and also the first half was not bad, it was a good half knowing that they exploit certain areas in a good way but we deserved better, we deserved better this game.”
The first bout of adversity the visitors faced arrived early, as left wing back Will Sands suffered an injury within the first 10 minutes of action. He was replaced by Yaw Yeboah in the 11th minute, and after the match, Nancy didn’t have an update on Sands.
Charlotte then produced the game winner in the 37th minute from the left flank when Kamil Jozwiak played a cross into the box, where Karol Swiderski fired the home side in front for the game’s only goal.
“The way they scored, yes, this is something that they did well, I have to accept that,” Nancy said. “But we could have done better in terms of positioning. But after that, the second part, we did what we had to do, and we had chances, we defended with eight players inside the box. We were eight players in their box. So again, offside, it was a short, short, short, short offside, I saw with the picture.”
The positive news is there is a quick turnaround time from this match, however.
On Wednesday night, the Columbus Crew begins competing in another competition – the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup – as the Black & Gold host USL Championship side Indy Eleven at Lower.com Field.
Considering Nancy’s willingness to tinker with the lineup and give younger players opportunities to shine with the First Team, the Open Cup provides another pathway for emerging talents – and hopefully a memorable cup run.
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