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Columbus Crew SC vs LA Galaxy

 

It was a tale of two halves on Saturday as Columbus Crew SC and the LA Galaxy played to a 1-1 draw following a delayed kickoff because of a weather delay.

Thanks to a slow-moving storm cell that hovered over MAPFRE Stadium for longer than most anticipated, kickoff was delayed by more than two hours, with the game getting underway around 9:45 p.m. ET.

Once the action started, though, the Galaxy came flying out of the gate, putting Crew SC on their heels from the first moment of the match. Sebastian Lletget opened the scoring, but Federico Higuain canceled out the early LA strike with one of his own in the second half.

Lletget, Stefan Ishizaki, Jose Villarreal were charging into the Columbus six-yard box consistently to begin the game, and Lletget found the match's opener just 14 minutes in.

Lletget, only in the game because Bruce Arena decided to replace veteran forward Edson Buddle in the starting lineup following the weather delay, took his chance well, collecting a loose ball, dancing around Michael Parkhurst and slamming a low shot past Steve Clark in the bottom corner of the Crew SC goal.

Not even allowing a goal could spark Columbus to life. Though they had 55 percent of possession in the first half, Crew SC were unable to create many chances, stymied by high-pressing LA and unable to follow Gregg Berhalter's directions for faster ball movement.

The Galaxy, on the other hand, continued to fly. In his first match since early May, Robbie Rogers looked as dangerous as ever on LA's left wing, creating multiple chances including a half-field run and cutback that nearly earned him a goal.

Crew SC seemed fortunate to only be down 1-0 at the half, and improved to start the second. And after withstanding a wave of Galaxy pressure, Crew SC found their equalizer in the 66th minute.

Tony Tchani was able to spring Ethan Finlay with a perfectly weighted through ball down the right side. Finlay then outpaced Rogers and Leonardo, looked up and found a streaking Higuain at the top of the box. The Argentinian DP took his chance well, hitting a shot low and hard to draw Columbus level.

After the goal, the field tilted toward the LA goal. Despite the introduction of Gyasi Zardes as a substitute, Crew SC found another gear. Justin Meram, after playing 55 minutes in Japan with the Iraq national team midweek, was as aggressive as ever, creating his own chances and nearly scoring from a header that Galaxy goalkeeper Jaime Penedo did well to push away.

But the late surge wouldn't be enough for Crew SC, who had the majority of late chances, as the game finished even.

Crew SC (4-6-5) have now played six matches since their last win, while the Galaxy (5-5-7) continue to search for their first win away from home.

The Galaxy will return to league play on June 20 with a home game against the Philadelphia Union. Crew SC, meanwhile, will welcome the New England Revolution to MAPFRE Stadium in their next league match on June 24.