Columbus Crew plays 2nd place Nashville SC tough to get 1-1 tie and a point

Ezra Hendrickson Crew assistant head coach running team during Caleb Porter’s absence vs. Nashville SC (courtesy Crew Communications)

Wednesday, Oct 20, 2021

A game-opening goal from Lucas Zelarayan and a handful of opportune saves from Eloy Room helped lead the Columbus Crew to a 1-1 draw against Nashville SC on Wednesday night at Nissan Stadium.

The draw keeps both Eastern Conference playoff hopefuls firmly in the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs mix, with Columbus three points from the final postseason berth and Nashville maintaining their grip on second.

Columbus Crew Starting XI at Nashville SC (courtesy Crew Communications).jpg

Nashville were dominant in the opening exchanges. Walker Zimmerman, CJ Sapong and Hany Mukhtar all forced Columbus goalkeeper Eloy Room into saves during the first half as the home side moved the ball well and kept the Crew on the back foot.

Columbus found their way back into the match, and weathered another storm early in the second half before eventually taking the lead with 15 minutes remaining. Lucas Zelarayan found the back of the net for the eighth time this season, picking out a low drive to the bottom corner after a textbook counterattack from the visitors.

Miguel Berry, this year’s surprising contributor to the team, in action vs. Nashville SC (courtesy Crew Communications)

It looked like Nashville were on track for just their fourth loss of the season until Mukhtar corralled a ball in the box and blasted past a helpless Eloy Room. The goal, just one minute and 46 seconds after the Crew took the lead, put Nashville on the front foot for the remainder of the match, but the hosts couldn’t find a go-ahead goal.

Luke Haakenson was nearly sent off in second-half stoppage time, but referee Alex Chilowicz went to Video review to rescind the red card, leaving both sides with 10 men and a goal apiece.

Up next, the Crew returns home on Saturday, October 23 to face the New York Red Bulls at 6 p.m. ET. with big playoff implications on the line. | TICKETS AVAILABLE

COURTESY CREW COMMUNICATIONS

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