Eloy Room sat on the grass with his elbows perched on his knees. As he stared out across the field, the net rippled behind him as CF Montréal players celebrated their late stunner.
When the whistle blew in the 74th minute for a weather delay, the Columbus Crew had a 1-0 lead. Over an hour later – and in the 94th minute – the Crew looked at a scoreboard that read:
Columbus 1, Montréal 2.
“I think it's a cruel result; as cruel a result that I've been a part of,” said head coach Caleb Porter.
The match started with the Crew taking an early lead and looking destined to improve to 10 games unbeaten. But then the weather delay arrived and Montréal goalkeeper Sebastian Breza made one world-class save after another, as the visitors kept themselves in the game long enough to eventually claim all three points.
“Again, I think it's a 1-0 win, at the least,” Porter said. “We should see the game out; we should make those plays. But for me the second goal was in there, if it wasn't for their goalkeeper, their goalkeeper made three or four world class saves, honestly.”
Lucas Zelarayán opened the scoring in the 14th minute when he produced a team-leading sixth goal of the season. Collecting the ball from Steven Moreira on the right side of the 18-yard box, Zelarayán fired a low shot toward goal that was deflected and zipped toward the back post.
With the finish, Zelarayán has now been involved in each of the club’s last five goals.
The Crew continued generating attacking chances, and goalkeeper Eloy Room made one save after another on his path to earning a third-straight clean sheet.
But then in the 88th minute, Montréal striker Kei Kamara scored from a set piece goal to equalize the match. The former Crew forward’s goal was his 134th in MLS, which ties him with another former Crew forward, Jeff Cunningham, for third for most career goals in MLS history.
Disaster stuck in six minutes later when Joel Waterman scored the game winner when the Crew was unable to defend a set piece, solidifying the loss.
“So, there was a result in there for us to take, we didn't make the plays at the end of the game defensively in moments that you're always going to have to make. Those are routine plays that we got to make, we didn't make those. And yes, I think we were unfortunate. We went up against a very good goalkeeper that made a couple saves that I don't know how he made honestly.”
With the result, the unbeaten streak is snapped and the Crew remains in sixth with 30 points from 22 goals. There’s a quick bounce back opportunity on Saturday, though, when the club hosts reigning MLS Cup champions New York City FC at Lower.com Field.
“We don't need to dwell on it,” captain Jonathan Mensah said. “Obviously, we will look at the film and then be hard on ourselves for maybe tomorrow, we'll watch film and then you know, we have a conversation and then you correct some things and we go again on Saturday.”
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