MLS Match Recap: Columbus Crew 1, San Jose Earthquakes 1
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Justin Morrow's goal in the 74th minute enabled the San Jose Earthquakes to forge a 1-1 tie with the Columbus Crew and damper the Crew's home opener on Saturday before 16,528 fans at Crew Stadium on Saturday.
Both teams are now 1-1-1 as the Earthquakes played their first road match on a cloudy, raw afternoon where the temperature dropped by 10 degrees from kickoff to the upper 30s with a wind chill in the 20s.
Columbus are 4-0-5 in the past nine home openers, but saw their 349-minute streak of not allowing a goal in the first game of the season at Crew Stadium end.
Morrow's first goal since last May 2 against D.C United was the result of a quick change of field that allowed Ramiro Corrales to find the overlapping defender unmarked on the left side. He then fired a strike from 18 yards that carried into the right upper corner for the equalizer.
The Crew got on the board first on Gláuber's diving header off a Federico Higuaín corner kick in the 68th minute. It was the Brazilian's first MLS goal in his third match, coming about after finding a seam for a right post run. Higuain placed the ball perfectly for the redirect after the corner was earned by Ethan Finlay, who had replaced midfielder Dominic Oduro seven minutes earlier.
Despite some scoreless draws in other, earlier matches, it seemed inevitable that somebody would score in Columbus.
San Jose had the first chance in the 14th minute when rookie Adam Jahn spotted Wondolowski in open space. The 2012 Golden Boot winner dribbled above the arc and unleashed a low shot that Andy Gruenebaum dove to his right to corral.
The Earthquakes had another try in the 30th minute off a buildup that the Crew tried four times unsuccessfully to stop. The ball landed at the feet of Jahn in the box but Agustín Viana blocked the shot and Gruenebaum grabbed the loose ball.
Columbus finally got untracked and produced two quick attempts beginning in the 35th minute that were stopped by ex-Crew goalkeeper Jon Busch. The first was a near right post stop after Dominic Oduro received a pass from Ben Speas.
The second came off a corner when Tyson Wahl headed a clearance back into the box for a Josh Williams shot directly at Busch.
Five minutes out of the break, Shea Salinas looked to put San Jose ahead but he slid under a rolling ball at the top of the penalty area and sent a shot meekly to Gruenebaum.
Wondolowski was inches away from putting San Jose in front in the 61st minute but his strike from 10 yards was booted off the line by defender Chad Marshall. Wondolowski followed shortly thereafter with a roller from 18 yards that was easy pickings for goalkeeper Andy Gruenebaum as the Earthquakes probed the defense.
Crew midfielder Eddie Gaven, whose first XI streak ended at 38 games last week because of a right ankle sprain, was replaced again on the left side by Ben Speas in his third career start.
The Earthquakes signed Honduran World Cup veteran Walter Martínez on Friday to stock a depleted front line but he did not play. Mike Fucito became the latest casualty due to a gash on his left foot suffered in Sunday's match against New York. He joined Alan Gordon and former Crew Steven Lenhart on the inactive list for the Columbus match.
With Fucito out, Jahn was the only lineup change for San Jose.
MLSsoccer.com Men of the Match
|Rank||Player||What We Saw|
|1||Justin Morrow (SJ)||Defender was tireless wiht his running on the flank. The goal was just the cherry on top.|
|2||Jairo Arrieta (CLB)||Worked hard to create space for others, and had a couple of shots of his own.|
|3||Rafael Baca (SJ)||Pulled the strings in the midfield, playing set-up man for a couple of impressive attacks.|