The last time the Columbus Crew had a penalty kick in Crew Stadium against Seattle, Guillermo Barros Schelotto missed the late attempt and the expansion Sounders ended the longest home unbeaten streak in league history with a 1-0 win.
Emilio Rentería didn’t make the same mistake on Saturday, picking up his fourth goal in three games in a 1-1 draw against Seattle in soggy conditions.
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The goal came after defender Chad Marshall was pulled down by defender Patrick Ianni in the 67th minute.
Although Rentería said he wasn’t impressed with the effort – “I hit it terribly,” he said – the goal was good enough to push the Crew’s unbeaten streak to seven, and beat Kasey Keller on a night when the Seattle goalkeeper did everything in his power to help Seattle get the win.
Keller was outstanding on a stop on Eddie Gaven in the 82nd minute and a parry of Andres Mendoza’s free kick in the first minute of stoppage time.
“We started the game pretty well. We had good balance,” Crew coach Robert Warzycha said. “The second half it was a different game. We pushed for the goal. We got one and almost had another one. We didn’t get lucky.”
The Crew, 3-0-4 since losing the opener, had 13 of the 14 shots in the second half, including the last 12.
“I really felt like we killed them in the second half,” midfielder Robbie Rogers said. “I even thought at the end of the first half we did well. I was happy with the way we played.”
Rogers could have tied the match in the 32nd minute when Dilly Duka set him free on a breakaway, but Keller came out to the top of the box to make the kick save.
“The only second thought was maybe I should have dribbled around him, but I couldn’t quite get there quick enough,” Rogers said. “He made a great save. He got it with his hand. It was a good flick by Dilly. If I make runs like that, I’ll be very dangerous.”
Columbus still have yet to score in the first half this season, but Warzycha is unconcerned.
“The most important thing is the result,” he said. “We’d like to score first whether it’s the first half or second half, but the result is after 90 minutes.”