Emmanuel Ekpo tussles with Brian Mullan in the Eastern Conference Semifinal series.
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Columbus left to rue missed opportunities

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Had the Crew been able to finish their chances against the Colorado Rapids, the game would have been over in the first half hour.

Columbus had the first eight shots in the second leg of the semifinal series by the time Eddie Gaven scored, but the Rapids completed the half with the next eight.

The Rapids went on to win the series after a penalty shootout, despite Columbus winning the game, 2-1, on goals from Gaven and Robbie Rogers.

RECAP: CLB 2, COL 1 (series tied 2-2 on aggregate; COL advance 5-4 on PKs)

“We had a lot of chances but didn’t finish,” Rogers said. “We paid in the end. If we had finished one more of our chances in the first half it definitely would have killed off the game.”

He even felt good after his second goal of the season and first since May 8.

“At that point it felt great, but we knew there was lot of game left,” he said.

He was right. The Rapids' Conor Casey slipped inside of Eric Brunner to take a service from Omar Cummings to score the series-tying goal in the 84th minute.

“He flashed in front of Brunner,” Gruenebaum said. “It was a great ball. He got a toe on it far post. I was a spectator. Not much I can do.”


Crew head coach Robert Warzycha could only shake his head on the play.

“That was a nice play by them," Warzycha said. "Could it have been avoided? I think so. The timing of the goal also was key. I thought we were going to hang onto the lead.”

The Crew had several chances in overtime, most notably when Guillermo Barros Schelotto set up Frankie Hejduk in the 97the minute only to have Matt Pickens make a goalmouth save.

If this was the last game in a Crew uniform for Schelotto, 37, he went out in style. He could have had three or four assists instead of one if his teammates had better finishing.

He is waiting to see if the Crew pick up his option.

“I don’t know,” he said. “Sometimes you have to take a decision with the coach, the manager, the owner. I want to keep playing here because I feel good. I hope to stay here in Columbus.”

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