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Columbus Crew SC 1, DC United 1 | 2016 MLS Match Recap

Fabian Espindola  picked a good time to end his scoring drought.

Espindola scored as a substitute in the 89th minute to give D.C. United a 1-1 road draw against Columbus Crew SC on Saturday night. The Argentine forward struck just eight minutes after entering the Eastern Conference tilt at MAPFRE Stadium in Columbus, Ohio, giving him his first goal since April 9 and canceling out Ola Kamara's tally earlier in the second half.

Crew SC were forced to finish the game with 10 men after Harrison Afful was controversially sent off with a straight red card in the 74th minute. Afful was ejected by referee Silviu Petrescu for a sliding challenge on D.C. midfielder Marcelo Sarvas.

Columbus were nearly able to manage through the loss of Afful, but Espindola made no mistake when a ball fell to him just outside the penalty area late in the match.

Box Score

Three Things

  1. CONTROVERSIAL CALL: Columbus Crew SC will rue their inability to see out the game given how close they were to the finish line, but that they had to do so with 10 men was controversial. Columbus were reduced to 10 men with 16 minutes remaining after Afful went to ground to challenge a 50-50 ball that Marcelo Sarvas stepped on. Replays appeared to show Afful made no contact with Sarvas, but he was sent for an early shower nonetheless by head referee Silviu Petrescu.
  2. MISFIRING IN FRONT OF NET: After the first half yielded few clear-cut scoring opportunities for either side, things picked up in the second stanza. Still, Crew SC goalkeeper Steve Clark and D.C. United netminder Bill Hamid were not overly troubled as the two teams' attacks failed to provide much of a threat in the final third aside from their goal-scoring sequences.
  3. SOLID DEBUT: Lloyd Sam made his first appearance for D.C. since being traded by the New York Red Bulls, and he made it a respectable outing. Sam played a couple of dangerous passes to teammates during his 90-minute shift, whipped in several of his trademark crosses after halftime, and threatened while taking corner kicks. There were a few moments of miscommunication with his new teammates, but this was a performance he can build upon.

Special Olympics Unified Sports match recap:
D.C. United Special Olympics DC (SODC) and Columbus Crew SC Special Olympics Ohio (SOOH) Unified Soccer teams kicked off their 2016 season Saturday evening at MAPFRE Stadium, with the visitors earning a 5-1 victory. Special Olympics DC got the scoring started early when DC's Douglas Medrano found himself unmarked in front of the net for the team's first goal. Minutes later, SODC's Rickie Green would tally another goal taking the visiting team into halftime up 2-0. Special Olympics Ohio pulled one back early in the second half with a goal by Olivia Dulay. The effort by Dulay gave Columbus Crew SC fans hope, but it was short lived. Minutes later, SODC's Dennis Mendizibal put on a passing clinic that ended with a perfect pass to Rickie Green who notched his second goal of the match. Learn more

Next Up

  • CLB: Saturday, July 23 vs. Orlando City (7:30 pm ET | MLS LIVE)
  • DC: Saturday, July 23 at Toronto FC (7:30 pm ET | MLS LIVE)
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