Columbus 1 – Kansas City 0: A Terribly Dull Affair

This was not a pretty game. Played at a sparsely populated Crew Stadium, the match featured a dearth of scoring chances, with the 1-0 scoreline flattering both squads.

1st Half

Since Kansas City and Columbus both deployed a 4-4-1-1, the teams were always going to struggle to find space. The mirror-image formations put the onus on individual matchups, but neither teams’ creative players stepped up to the challenge. Poor passes, mistimed runs, and sloppy dribbling characterized the attack on both sides of the pitch.

The starting lineups

Dilly Duka generated the Crew’s lone shot on target, though it was from too far out to trouble keeper Jimmy Nielsen. Kansas City’s only scoring opportunity occurred on a free kick. As with Duka’s shot, CJ Sapong’s header, which was easily saved by Will Hesmer, never really seemed destined to find the net.

2nd Half

Neither manager changed formation or personnel at the break, leaving viewers the potential for another 45 minutes of monotony. Duka, however, refused to let fans leave the stadium without seeing something worthwhile. The winger started to take on defenders with regularity, and the match began to open up.

But it was a Kansas City error that would open the scoring. In the 52nd, a failed clearance was headed from Duka to Robbie Rogers, who burst into the box and beat Nielsen.

Kansas City’s lackluster attack made the one goal lead appear safe, and when center back Julio Cesar was sent off in the 72nd for a handball, the result was sealed. Columbus switched to a 4-4-2 (striker Jeff Cunningham came on for Rogers) but never replicated the earlier skillfull interplay of Rogers and Duku.

Gringos, did you see this match? Were you as unimpressed as we were?

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