COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Columbus Crew and FC Dallas played to a scoreless draw Sunday thanks to two goal line saves and a collection of missed opportunities in a match that was postponed for 18 hours.
Originally scheduled for Saturday night, officials rescheduled the match after a fan was injured in a lightning storm during a weather delay.
The result was the third consecutive draw for the Crew (4-5-7), leaving them in sixth place in the Eastern Conference with 19 points from 16 games. Dallas (6-7-5) earned their second straight tie to remain in fourth place in the West with 23 points from 18 games.
For a variety of reasons, neither team was able to field their first-choice lineup on the afternoon.
The Crew were still missing Costa Ricans Giancarlo Gonzalez and Waylon Francis in Brazil and had to deal with injuries to Federico Higuain – who entered as a substitute in the second half – Josh Williams and Ethan Finlay.
A hot and humid day seemed to deter both teams from venturing too far from their comfort zone. The first half was a familiar one for the Crew, as they were given the freedom to pass the ball around in the back while Dallas sat in defense.
The best chance of the first half came for Dallas in the 13th minute, when a corner kick bounced in the box and fell perfectly to Michel. The midfielder hit a firm shot at an open net, but Michael Parkhurst was in the perfect position for the Crew and chested the ball off the line to preserve the 0-0 score.
Dallas again should have led after a redoubled effort to start the second half. In the 52nd minute, forward Andres Escobar gathered the ball near midfield and dribbled past three Crew defenders before sliding a ball across the Columbus box. Tesho Akindele had a wide open net for a first-time shot, but the forward somehow scuffed his shot into the post.
It was déjà vu six minutes later for Akindele, when Je-Vaughn Watson's cross found his foot. But once more the Canadian missed his shot, this time high over the crossbar.
Both teams seemed to succumb to the heat for much of the second half, until the game opened up with 10 minutes remaining.
In the 83rd minute, Dallas substitute David Texeira headed down a cross that seemed destined for goal. But a lunging Steve Clark pinned the ball on the line for the Crew's second goal line save of the day.
At the other end, Jairo Arrieta found himself with a golden opportunity for a goal of his own, but the Crew forward missed his shot into the side netting, giving fans only a false sense of joy for what seemed like a sure goal as the match finished in a 0-0 draw.
Dallas are back in action at home against the Philadelphia Union on the Fourth of July, while Columbus play at the Colorado Rapids on the same night.
MLSsoccer.com Men of the Match
|Rank||Player||What We Saw|
|1||Steve Clark||The veteran made good decisions all game long; his one save of the day preserved the draw|
|2||Michael Parkhurst||Came up with a big goal line clearance and led a solid defensive effort along the backline|
|3||Matt Hedges||In a game made for defenders, Hedges showed how dominant he can be|