FRISCO, Texas – With forty-nine of fifty minutes elapsed in the match, the Columbus Crew and Philadelphia Union stood level at 0-0. Meanwhile, the undefeated Vancouver Whitecaps led Toluca FC 3-0 and stood above Columbus in the standings of Group C in the Premier Division. In this year's Generation adidas Cup, Group C teams played Group D teams in the group stage.
Vancouver’s Robert Antoniuk had scored two heroic goals off the bench as a surprise replacement for their injured MLS-signed playmaker, Simon Colyn. With Brandon Cambridge storming down Toluca’s right flank and star goalkeeper Chituru Odunze marshaling a tournament-long shutout streak in goal, a semifinals berth in their first Generation adidas Cup appearance was firmly within Vancouver’s grasp.
Simon Colyn injury
But just four minutes later, Crew striker Tyler Wolff — the son of former MLS player and current US men's national team coach Josh — stunned Philadelphia with two late goals and Columbus hurdled Vancouver in the standings (watch the goals in video at the top). Though both teams remained tied on points, wins, and goal differential, Columbus advanced to the semifinals based on the fact that they scored 15 goals to Vancouver’s 14.
When the Whitecaps match against Toluca ended a few minutes later without a fourth goal from the Canadians, the disbelieving Columbus players leapt for joy and celebrated on the adjacent field. Despite a perfect 5-0-0 record and zero goals conceded, a heartbroken Vancouver team would fall just short of reaching the semifinals.
“It’s not easy to win five straight games in any tournament but today was definitely incredible,” Columbus head coach Andreas Engelmark told MLSsoccer.com after the match. “This [team] is a ‘high potential’ group and we’ve shown we can play at a high level. We look forward to showing what we can do in the semifinals.”
The Crew will square off against Danish club FC Midtjylland at 3:15 pm ET in the Premier Division semifinals. The match will be streamed live on Twitch.