Columbus Crew SC 0, FC Dallas 3 | MLS Match Recap
Columbus Crew SC did plenty of things right against FC Dallas at MAPFRE Stadium on Sunday night, but were harshly punished for a handful of mistakes as the visiting Texans pulled off a ruthless 3-0 win via opportunistic goals from Atiba Harris, Michael Barrios and David Texeira.
Crew SC dominated possession with a whopping 67 percent, strung together 553 passes, delivered 31 crosses took 15 shots and even earned a generous penalty-kick call on the night. But it all went for naught as Columbus' finishing touch deserted them in the absence of MLS Golden Boot frontrunner Kei Kamara.
Dallas, meanwhile, will be thrilled to take all three road points after starting several Homegrown players in a youthful starting 11 with an average age of just 23 years old.
It was their oldest starter, 30-year-old Atiba Harris, who opened the scoring in the 27th minute. Crew SC fell asleep on a corner kick, allowing Texeira to head Kellyn Acosta's delivery to an unmarked Harris at the right post, and the St. Kitts & Nevis international headed home from a tight angle.
The goal was a swift punishment for Crew SC playmaker Federico Higuain, who stroked a 24th-minute penalty kick wide of the target after Jack McInerney went to ground after shoulder-to-shoulder contact with Matt Hedges in the FCD box.
The home side continued to probe and press Dallas' well-organized 4-4-2 shape, and should've equalized in the 61st minute on a mistake by goalkeeper Jesse Gonzalez.
The 20-year-old 'keeper misjudged a long through ball as it skipped into his box, allowing McInerney a free look at an unguarded goal – but the former Montreal Impact striker screwed his shot well high and wide of the net.
Yet again, the hosts' generosity was capitalized upon within minutes. With Crew SC pushed forward, Harris thumped a clearance into Barrios' path and the dimunutive Colombian blazed past Michael Parkhurst on a solo counterattack capped by a savvy finish over goalkeeper Steve Clark for a 2-0 lead that stunned the MAPFRE faithful.
It went from bad to worse within seconds for Columbus as Barrios broke away into the clear yet again. While Clark made a big save on his shot, Texeira took advantage of the 'keeper being stranded well off his line by drilling a low finish inside the far post to run the score to 3-0.
The loss kills Crew SC's four-game unbeaten streak, and to make matters worse, they lost summer signing Gaston Sauro to injury just minutes into his first MLS start as the Argentine center back clashed heads with teammate Wil Trapp.
Columbus return to action with a visit to Philadelphia on Saturday, while FCD host New York City FC later that same evening.