Chances were swapped, but no goals were scored as Columbus Crew SC and the Philadelphia Union split the points in a scoreless draw at Historic Crew Stadium on Sunday. Neither side managed to get much traction in the attack throughout the match, although both teams saw shots go off the post and Columbus had a first-half penalty kick wiped away on Video Review. The Crew nearly opened the scoring in the 34th minute through Lucas Zelarayan, who teed up a rocket shot from distance that made it over Philadelphia goalkeeper Andre Blake, but wound up glancing off the crossbar.
Columbus then thought they had a look at the opener just three minutes later, as Philadelphia defender Jakob Glesnes was whistled for a foul in his own box after colliding with Pedro Santos, drawing a penalty kick call from referee Ramy Touchan. But the penalty was waved off after Touchan went to VAR and determined the foul took place outside the box, keeping the contest scoreless through halftime. The Crew nearly struck again just shy of the hour mark, when Santos sent in a cross that Luis Diaz put on target with a first-time shot on goal, but Blake sprawled out to make the save.
The Union had perhaps their best look of the match in the 64th minute off a set-piece that saw Alejandro Bedoya squeeze off a shot set up by a header back across the box from Glesnes. The Philadelphia captain beat diving Columbus goalkeeper Eloy Room with the shot, only to see it go off the crossbar. Columbus had one last chance in the 83rd minute, when Zelarayan sent in a free kick that wasn’t cleared, allowing Artur a free look on goal, but Blake came through again with a reaction save. Beodya then had another go from distance just before full time, and nearly stole all three points for the Union in dramatic fashion, but Room made a diving save of his own to ensure the contest would end in a scoreless deadlock.
Up next, Columbus returns to play on Wednesday, April 28 in Leg One of a Quarterfinal match-up against Liga MX side CF Monterrey at Historic Crew Stadium, with kickoff slated for 8:30 p.m. ET.
CREW SC MATCH NOTES
- With his shutout in tonight’s 0-0 draw against the Philadelphia Union, goalkeeper Eloy Room extended his shutout streak to four consecutive matches across all competitions dating back to the 2020 MLS Cup against Seattle Sounders FC (December 12). During today’s contest Room made five saves en route to helping Crew SC to a 0-0 result.
- With his start in tonight’s Opening Match against the Philadelphia Union, defender Milton Valenzuela made his 50th regular-season appearance for Crew SC. During tonight’s match, the defender played all 90 minutes, making four tackles, creating one goal-scoring chance and getting 66 touches on the ball – more than any other player on the squad. Since joining the Crew ahead of the 2018 season, Valenzuela has tallied one goal and nine assists in regular-season action.
- With tonight’s match ending in a draw, Crew SC is now undefeated in its last four regular-season matches against the Philadelphia Union with a record of 3-0-1. Additionally, the Black & Gold are undefeated against the Union in their last seven regular-season home matches at Historic Crew Stadium with a record of 4-0-3 while outscoring them 7-1.
- Midfielder Alexandru Matan made his Crew SC debut during tonight’s match. Matan came in as a substitute for Pedro Santos the 88th minute of the match. The 21-year-old midfielder joined Crew SC from Romanian side Viitorul Constanta on March 8, 2021.
- Up next, the Crew hosts CF Monterrey at Historic Crew Stadium on Wednesday, April 28 in a 2021 Scotiabank Concacaf Champions League Quarterfinals First Leg match.
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