COLUMBUS – Crew SC forward Ola Kamara’s 31st goal in only 54 career matches fueled the Black & Gold to their 1-1 draw on Sunday afternoon against Sporting Kansas City in Columbus. The strike came during stoppage time at the end of the first half to match an early goal by the visitors.
The 19th minute saw Sporting KC take an early lead when forward Cristian Lobato pulled down a long ball on the run and finished past a charging Zack Steffen. The long ball was provided for Lobato by Kansas City defender Matt Besler.
A corner kick in front of the Nordecke of MAPFRE Stadium in the 45th minute led to the Black & Gold equalizer. Crew SC midfielder Pedro Santos sent a ball in and found a streaking Kamara, who smashed it into the back of the net.
The goal was the 15th of Kamara’s Major League Soccer regular-season. The forward leads Crew SC in scoring and now holds sole possession of 10th place all-time in the club’s scoring history, breaking a tie with Ethan Finlay.
The assist was the second in the infancy of Santos’ MLS career. The recently-signed Designated Player for Columbus made his fourth appearance and third start on Sunday since being signed on August 8.
The Black & Gold were precise on the attack during the match. While Crew SC took fewer shots than Kansas City (12-20), Columbus recorded more shots on target (5-4) while also tallying more corners (5-3) and crosses (15-13).
The draw held Columbus (13-12-4, 43 points) in fourth place in the MLS Eastern Conference Standings with only five games remaining while Kansas City (10-6-11, 41 points) held serve out West in fourth as well.
Columbus Crew SC will travel north to take on the Vancouver Whitecaps on Saturday, September 16 at 7 p.m. ET before returning home to MAPFRE Stadium to battle the New York Red Bulls on Saturday, September 23 with a 7:30 p.m. ET kickoff.
Crew SC defender Jonathan Mensah will miss the club’s match next weekend against the Vancouver Whitecaps due to yellow card accumulation. Mensah received the caution in the 13th minute for persistent infringement.
Venue: MAPFRE Stadium (Columbus, Ohio)
Referee: Chris Penso
Assistants: Eduardo Mariscal, Adam Garner
Fourth Official: Daniel Radford
Video Assistant Referee: Alan Kelly
19’ – SKC – Cristian Lobato (Name)
45’+1’ – CLB – Ola Kamara (Pedro Santos)
CLB – Jonathan Mensah (Caution) 13’
SKC – Roger Espinoza (Caution) 15’
SKC – Benny Feilhaber (Caution) 53’
CLB – Josh Williams (Caution) 59’
CLB – Mohammed Abu (Caution) 85’
Columbus Crew SC: Zack Steffen; Jukka Raitala, Josh Williams, Jonathan Mensah, Hector Jimenez (Harrison Afful 84’); Mohammed Abu, Wil Trapp (c); Justin Meram, Federico Higuain, Pedro Santos (Cristian Martinez 65’); Ola Kamara (Adam Jahn 64’)
Substitutes not used: Brad Stuver, Lalas Abubakar, Artur, Kekuta Manneh,
Sporting Kansas City: Tim Melia; Seth Sinovic, Matt Besler ©, Ike Opara, Graham Zusi; Benny Feilhaber (Jimmy Medranda 90’+3’), Ilie, Roger Espinoza; Daniel Salloi, Diego Rubio (Latif Blessing 83’), Cristian Lobato (Gerso Fernandes 90’+1’)
Substitutes not used: Adrian Zendejas, Saad Abdul-Salaam, Erik Palmer-Brown, Soni Mustivar
The Midwest matchup
The cross-conference match was the 54th meeting between the MLS-original clubs. The all-time record currently stands at 22-25-7 in favor of Kansas City.
The 90-minute match played by Crew SC midfielder Federico Higuain moved him into eighth place all-time in Columbus history in terms of minutes played. Higuain now stands at 12,204 minutes after passing Robert Warzycha (12,149).
With the draw at home in Columbus, Crew SC’s home points total this season now stands at 32, the highest number of points earned at home since Crew SC Sporting Director and Head Coach Gregg Berhalter took over in 2014 and the highest number of points earned at home since 2012 (11-3-3, 36 points).