Crew Coverage

Crew Coverage pres. by Medical Mutual | Nancy: ‘We fought’ in comeback against D.C. United

Never count out the reigning league champions.

Trailing and playing with 10 men, the Columbus Crew delivered late theatrics Saturday night with a thunderous equalizer to draw D.C. United, 1-1, at Field and keep the home unbeaten streak alive.

“It was a difficult game for everyone because this is a team who run a lot so they didn't leave us a lot of space,” head coach Wilfried Nancy said. “They were really compact. They did it well. I'm really pleased that we didn't quit. We were able to score the goal.

“For me, this is the most important. …I'm really pleased about the way we fought the way we were able to come back and knowing that we played three or four days ago. I really like the spirit so for me, this is really important.”

Scoreless in the first half, the visitors nearly struck first in first-half stoppage time, if not for an otherworldly stop from Patrick Schulte.

D.C. United eventually took the lead in the 61st minute when Christian Benteke scored his fifth goal in five games this season.

But the Crew kept pressing.

More adversity came in the 75th minute Cucho Hernández was sent off and Columbus was reduced to 10 men, but they kept pressing the opposition.

The equalizer finally came in the 87th minute when Aidan Morris uncorked a thumping equalizer in the 87th minute to earn his second goal of the campaign.

Playing with 10 men, the Crew recycled possession searching for open space to break through D.C.’s tight lines. Eventually, Morris found a cranny and unleashed a shot to the bottom right corner.

“I didn’t think they had great pressure on the ball,” Morris said. “They didn’t step out of the box fast enough, so I was able to just take my time, pick my head up and have a nice clean stroke at it.”

The stadium shook. The stands erupted. Yellow smoke clouded The Nordecke and the rest of the stadium. On the other end of the pitch, Morris stood with his arms outstretched like Russell Crowe in “The Gladiator.” 

Yes, Columbus was entertained.

The Crew are now unbeaten in six-of-their-first-seven matches to open the league campaign. They’re also unbeaten in the last 22 matches at Field. 

Up next for the Black & Gold is the return leg of the Concacaf Champions Cup quarterfinals on Tuesday night against Liga MX side Tigres UANL. The sides drew, 1-1, when they met last Tuesday for leg one at Field. 

If the Crew advance, it’d be the team’s first semifinal appearance in club history.

“I'm very excited,” Will Sands said after making his first MLS start in 2024. “I've actually never been to Mexico, so I'm excited to go. I've heard great things about the atmosphere there and it's kind of the days that you live for as a player. So yeah, very excited.”

Also on Tuesday night is the 2024 SheBelieves Cup Championship at Field, where the U.S. Women’s National Team faces Canada at 7 p.m. Tickets are still available to see the USWNT potentially lift a trophy.

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