In a match of two halves, with each team controlling the action on either side of the break, Columbus Crew SC and the Seattle Sounders were level in shots and possession on Saturday afternoon. In the end, the hosts edged the Black & Gold at CenturyLink Field on a late goal by Jordan Morris.
The rookie striker reacted quickest to a loose ball inside the penalty area and found the back of the net in the 88th minute to end Crew SC’s run of two straight victories.
The Black & Gold controlled most of the action in the first 45 minutes, firing off seven shots and holding 57 percent possession. Midfielder Ethan Finlay had the biggest opportunity to give Crew SC the lead in the 42nd when Federico Higuain split open the Seattle defense with a trough-ball. Finlay found himself in front of Sounders goalkeeper Stefan Frei, but his shot went just wide.
Higuain also had two great looks in the first half. First, Frei blocked Pipa’s shot from distance with his foot in the ninth minute. Then, the goalkeeper mishit the ball into the feet of the Argentine, who struck it right back at Frei in the 32nd.
On the other end of the pitch, Crew SC goalkeeper Steve Clark came up with two big saves when he blocked Aaron Kovar in the eighth minute and parried away a dangerous Joevin Jones cross in the 14th.
Things got busier for Clark after the break. The goalkeeper added five more saves to tie his career high of seven saves in a single MLS match and earn Barbasol Man of the Match honors.
One of his biggest saves came two minutes into the second half when he blocked a shot by Jones with his left foot; and in the 75th, Clark punched away a Herculez Gomez shot for a corner.
With two minutes left in regulation, the goalkeeper was finally beaten by Morris who tucked away the rebound after Clark blocked Oalex Anderson’s initial shot.
Crew SC and the Sounders finished the night with 16 shots and 50 percent possession each. The Black & Gold walked away empty handed for the first time in three matches. They are returning to MAPFRE Stadium for two straight home matches against the Montreal Impact on May 7 and the Colorado Rapids on May 14. In between they will host Liga MX side Veracruz for an international friendly on May 11.