Two sides in search of a three-point rebound entered the Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis, Maryland, on Saturday night, but only one succeeded. The Major League Soccer clash between charter members saw Columbus Crew SC fall to a short-handed D.C. United, 1-0. The loss was Crew SC's third consecutive — and second straight on the road — after opening the 2018 regular season riding a three-match unbeaten streak.
United kicked the match off with the game-winner after just 43 seconds. Ulises Segura lashed a 1-time, half-volley from the top of the 18-yard box off assists by Paul Arriola and Luciano Acosta. That was D.C.'s only shot on Zack Steffen's goal.
Forward from there, the Black & Gold chased the match, dominating shots (24-5), shots on-target (5-1), blocked shots (7-0), possession (70%-30%) and passing percentage (85%-65%). Crew SC completed 192 passes in the final third. The attack pivoted from wing to wing, with Columbus' wide men shooting a combined 13 times (five on-target) and delivering 46 crosses in search of the equalizer.
The match skewed even deeper in Crew SC's direction when Arriola was shown a straight red card following a Video Review for a tackle on Artur. United bunkered to finish with 43 clearances and five saves by goalkeeper Steve Clark.
Sporting Director and Head Coach Gregg Berhalter further pressed the issue, adding Hector Jimenez, Adam Jahn and Mohammed Abu as second-half substitutions. Despite the offensive showing with pure reaction saves by Clark and sliding free kick off the cross bar, the desired goal failed to fall.
The sides will finish 2018 with a season split, after Crew SC's triumph in their Week 3 matchup, Crew SC dominated United in a historic 3-1 victory. In that match, midfielder Federico Higuain cemented his place in Major League Soccer’s 50-goals, 50-assists Club on a corner kick to Ricardo Clark. Clark headed in the delivery to secure his debut Crew SC goal. Milton Valenzuela and Pedro Santos also scored their first career goals for the Black & Gold.
The Black & Gold will return to MAPFRE Stadium on Saturday, April 21 to host New England Revolution in a 7:30 p.m. ET kickoff.
- Defender Jonathan Mensah completed 88 passes tonight, the most out of any player on the field. In addition, Mensah had a passing accuracy of 90.9%, the third best of any player on the field behind Crew SC’s Josh Williams (94.7%) and Wil Trapp (91.9%). Mensah has played all but seven minutes in seven matches for Crew SC in 2018.
- Midfielder Pedro Santos took five shots in tonight’s match, the most of any player on the field, and more than all of D.C. United combined. He also matched the entire opposition with one shot on goal. This brings his 2018 MLS regular-season shot total to 20, with four shots on goal. Santos has also accumulated one goal and one assist on the season.
- The Black & Gold’s all-time record against D.C. United moves to 29-28-11, with Crew SC outscoring their rivals 100-91. Crew SC had won their last three matches against D.C., including a 3-1 victory in MAPFRE Stadium on March 24 of this year. With the conclusion of the two-game series, Crew SC outscores D.C. 3-2 in the 2018 regular season.
- Crew SC’s record on the season moves to 3-3-1. Up next, Crew SC returns to MAPFRE Stadium for a home match on April 21st against the New England Revolution (7:30 p.m. ET / CW Columbus, Spectrum Sports, BCSN2, CD102.5 FM, English radio stream and Spanish audio broadcast available on ColumbusCrewSC.com)