Sunday, March 23, 2014

Crew Top Philly in Home Opener

After going up by two Bernardo Anor goals in the first half, the Columbus Crew withstand a barrage of shots in the second en route to earning three points.

1ST HALF (2-0)
This one started fairly evenly but the Crew wrestled control of this match away from the Union by way of an expertly taken corner that found the head of Bernardo Anor for a goal in the 24th minute. From there the Crew successfully and impressively applied clamps to any fevered response the Union could muster, earning three more corner kicks in the next few minutes.

Philly eventually regained some footing shortly before half but it Anor scored again just before half with a screaming shot from 30 yards out.

2ND HALF (0-1)
You could tell that Columbus started the half well because a few of the Union players were getting visibly frustrated in the opening minutes. Most notably was new signing Cristián Maidana, who was having a poor match. John Hackworth didn't wait long to pull the new Argentinian #10 and did so in the 55th minute.

Things completely changed for the Union then as they pounced on the Crew with big chance after big chance. In fact the ripped off nearly ten shots in the next 15 minutes, however, only converting one.

• Wil Trapp, more than any player on the Crew so far, is looking every bit of the part. There were a number of times were he battled US International Maurice Edu last night and looked the part.

• With Bernardo Anor there are some games when it looks like he's in his own world out there. Not above or below, just separate. Drifting between different planes of game reality. Yesterday was one of those games.

• Midway through the second half Philly found out how to unlock the Crew outside backs in Waylon Francis and Josh Williams. Very easily. If they could finish, this one might have looked completely different.

• Teams will expose if the Crew are going to be pushing fullbacks up all game, with the lead or not. Most of the Union chances come once they figured it out. Berhalter mentioned he wanted to continue pressure in the 2nd half but so much of that depends on backs making 50 yard run after run.

• Crew start the season with six points out of the first two, first time in team history. Believe it... or not.

• Three great halfs to start the year for the Crew, this 2nd half one is a little worrisome. Is this start for real or it a case of new coach, new era, great start that we seemingly always see in sports? I don't have a definitive answer yet. We'll see.

• A lot going on off the pitch for this home opener. Can't say enough about the hard work Justin Bell and his group have put in to help create a great atmosphere at Crew Stadium yesterday. Also much credit to the Crew Union and Hudson Street Hooligans for that. I know there are many more but speaking for the fans on hand on a chilly Ohio night, y'all warmed it up nicely.

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