Recap: FC Cincinnati 2, Columbus Crew 2

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The rivalry match started off with a bang thanks to the fastest goal of the MLS season to date when Edgar Castillo shot at home in 25 seconds. Luciano Acosta then increased the score to 2-0 before Lucas Zelarayan struck out a goal just before half-time for a Columbus side who were forced to play with 10 men in the 43rd minute following a red card for Harrison Afful. But despite their shortage, Columbus wouldn’t come home empty-handed, scoring a point thanks to a first MLS goal from Miguel Berry.

The first half was full of action from start to finish. In the opening seconds, Acosta danced brilliantly past challenges on the baseline before slicing the ball for Castillo, whose first left-foot strike flew into the net from Jonathan Menash’s desperate boot as he attempted to make it. block on the line. Castillo’s effort was the 12th fastest goal in MLS history.

The cheering home crowd didn’t have to wait long for a second goal. This time, Acosta was both the instigator and the finisher. The Argentine No.10 started a neat edge-to-edge exchange between Brenner and Isaac Atanga before the ball fell back into the box and he finished calmly ahead of Crew substitute goalkeeper Evan Bush.

In addition to the action from goalmouth, the first half was also characterized by some big challenges. Mensah has arguably been fortunate enough to escape at least one yellow card on several occasions, including a late challenge on Acosta that infuriated the Cincinnati bench.

But Columbus’ assault would cost them before half-time. Already booked from the start, Afful won his second yellow and a red in the 43rd minute for grouping Acosta from behind.

Halftime had another unexpected turn, however, in the first minute of stoppage time Zelarayan unleashed an unstoppable first shot from every 30 yards to give the visitors some hope ahead of the interval.

This goal would prove huge in changing the momentum of the competition. Despite being down, the Crew won the game in Cincinnati in the second half. Zelarayan nearly scored his sensational second goal of the night with another first-time shot from outside the box, but this one shot over the underside of the bar and away,

But the crew would not be denied. In the 73rd minute, Zelarayan played a perfect deep pass into the box and Berry landed a shot over Kenneth Vermeer who was advancing to save an unlikely point for the MLS Cup champions.



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