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Columbus Crew SC 2, Orlando City SC 2 | 2016 MLS Match Recap

Two teams fighting to force their way into the playoff picture in the Eastern Conference split the points on Saturday night at MAPFRE Stadium. That those teams were the Columbus Crew SC and Orlando City SC, the two teams with the most draws in MLS, the 2-2 draw came as little surprise.

In their final game before new coach Jason Kreis takes over on Monday, the Lions were on the back foot the entire first half as Columbus took the lead in the 20th minute when Tony Tchani burst into the visitors' penalty area and slotted a right-footed shot past goalkeeper Joe Bendik for his first goal of the season. Columbus doubled their lead just before halftime on a successful penalty from Ola Kamara, his 10th goal of the season.

Orlando came back strong in the second half, though. Kaka, who missed the past three games with a calf injury, entered the game as a substitute in the 60th minute and changed the game. In the 65th minute, Kaka took a corner and  Kevin Molino knocked it in after a scramble in the box to put the Lions on the board. Five minutes later, Molino curled a cross into the box and Cyle Larin nodded it home to tie the score.

Both goalkeepers were called on in the final minutes to make huge saves to preserve the result. Crew SC's Steve Clark stopped Larin in the 77th minute and Carlos Rivas in the 91st, while Bendik stopped Kamara in the 84th and Federico Higuain in the 91st.

Higuain played his first game for Crew SC since June 1, returning as a substitute in the 71st minute after undergoing hernia surgery.

Box Score

Three Things

1. FIT TO BE TIED: Orlando City have the most draws in MLS (11); Crew SC have the second-most (10). That should help explain why both teams are out of the Eastern Conference playoff picture at the moment, but both are still within striking distance of the top six. Crew SC have a familiar problem -- they score early, but leak goals late. Orlando City just leak goals, period.

2. WELCOME BACK!: Orlando City were without Kaka for their previous three games, and looked like a shell of themselves with him on the bench in the first half. Once the Brazilian came on, however, the Lions came back to life. Within 10 minutes, Orlando City had erased a 2-0 deficit. Higuain, meanwhile, had been out even longer -- six games following hernia surgery. He came on in the 71st minute and had two shots that could have won the game in the final 20 minutes. One shot was saved by Orlando 'keeper Joe Bendik, and the other was barely wide.

3. ROUTINE EFFORT: Ola Kamara continued his goal-a-game pace with a successful penalty on the stroke of halftime. Kamara has 10 goals in nine starts and kissed his PK off the inside of the right goal post, beating keeper Bendik, who guessed the correct way.

Next Up

  • CLB: Sunday, July 31 at Toronto FC (7:30 pm ET, MLS LIVE)
  • ORL: Wednesday, July 27 vs. Stoke City FC, Friendly (7:30 pm ET)
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