Crew Tie Dynamo in Bizarre Game, Remain Atop Eastern Conference
The Crew unconvincingly took sole possession of top spot in the Eastern Conference with a scrappy performance against an overly aggressive Houston Dynamo in a bizarre game marred by poor refereeing decisions.
Columbus played over 80 minutes of the game a man short, after Emmanuel Ekpo was given a straight red card for a raised arm that ex-Crew midfielder Adam Moffat ploughed into. Referee Chris Penso called it as violent conduct and sent Ekpo down the tunnel, forcing the Crew to defend deep and attack on the break against a team searching for it’s first victory on the road.
Columbus were down a goal until midway into the second half until Andreas Mendoza converted two penalty kicks. The first awarded after Houston’s Cam Weaver was harshly called for handball on a cross from Eric Gehrig. The second came after Dilly Duka was ninja-kicked in the stomach by unaware Houston defender, Je-Vaughn Watson.
Mendoza calmly dispatched both penalties that should’ve secured three points for the home team.
However, in the 86th minute, Houston equalized with a goal from Calen Carr who struck the ball home after being left unmarked in the penalty area by a tired look Crew defense.
Next up for the Crew: Away at Philadelphia on Saturday and then LA Galaxy at Crew Stadium on September 24.
Photography by Matt Ellis of Three-Songs Photography.