Crew fall on the road, lose 1-0 to Charlotte FC

Unbeaten in the team’s last four games, the Columbus Crew took the streak to face Charlotte FC on the road. The Black & Gold couldn’t find any of the magic of those last several games, however, losing 1-0 at Bank of America Stadium after a first half goal from Kamil Jozwiak.

The game got off to an unfortunate start for the visitors. Columbus was forced into an early substitution when wing back Will Sands went down with an apparent knee injury in the seventh minute. He was replaced by Yaw Yeboah, to provide speed on the left hand side. Sands had to be stretchered off the field after examinations on his knee and that prognostication is not good for the young player.

In the 21st minute, the Crew almost got on the board when playmaker Lucas Zelarayan found forward Christian Ramirez inside the penalty box. Ramirez’s header was on target but saved by the Charlotte goalkeeper George Marks.

Minutes later, Yeboah found Ramirez at the far post with a cross, but the striker couldn’t find the touch to give Columbus the lead. The veteran’s attempt went high over the crossbar.

Charlotte broke the ice late in the first half when Karol Swiderski found the top corner off of a pass from Kamil Jozwiak to give the home side a 1-0 lead. It was a good build up by the home side in the 37th minute but Black & Gold midfielders Aidan Morris and Sean Zawadski failed to recover on the layoff pass to Swiderski.

The Crew pushed at the end of the half for an equalizer with the extended stoppage time but couldn’t find much success in and around the 18-yard box. The Black & Gold went into the locker room trailing 1-0.

Columbus performed better in the second half, picking up the pace of the play and pushing more.

The Crew had a nice build-up play in the 64th minute when playmaker Alexandru Matan hit a low, driven cross in front of goal that found Yeboah. The ball pinned around and ultimately gave Charlotte the opportunity to clear the danger. as no Black & Gold player could direct on target.

A chance to equalize in the 80th minute saw Matan dribble carefully on the end-line. Matan dribbled around the Charlotte goalkeeper and almost found second half substitute Jacen Russell-Rowe, before going down in the box. No penalty was called and Charlotte was able keep Columbus off the board.

The Crew appeared to equalize in the dying embers of the match in stoppage time but the goal was called back. Midfielder Aidan Morris slotted the ball home after some nice passing, but a VAR check waved off the goal for offside.

A few final pushes by the Black & Gold didn’t result in anything and the match ended in three points going to the home side.

Will Sands injured

Left wing back Will Sands saw his night end just seven minutes into the game, going down after a challenge but apparently hurting his knee. The injury looked bad and head coach Wilfried Nacy told reporters after the game, “I can not talk about it. I haven’t spoken with the medical staff, so I can not talk about it.”

It’s quite possible that Columbus could be without Sands for some time.


The Crew got the equalizer late in the game through Morris. However, a VAR check deemed Morris was in an offside position before the finish.

Replays during the match had questionable angles and the VAR came into question due to the image that the center official was shown, which was a still image after forward Jacen Russell-Rowe played Morris the ball. The still frame was closer to Morris receiving the ball than when the ball was played, which is not the rule for offside.

Without being shown any other frame, was the image that turned a possible point into zero for the Black & Gold.

What’s next?

The Crew is back at home this Wednesday to face Indy Eleven in the third round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. Kickoff from Field is set for 7:30 p.m. EDT.

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