Forget about attractive, attacking soccer. The Philadelphia Union and Columbus Crew SC’s first half was a grinding 0-0 affair that neither team should be proud of but both could be somewhat happy with.
In the fifth minute, John McCarthy made a fantastic save on an Ola Kamara shot on the half-volley to keep the sides scoreless.
There were long stretches of boring soccer, with both teams seemingly disinterested in things like possession and creativity and more interested in passing to no one in particular and fouling their opponents.
Jay Simpson didn’t get many touches, and unfortunately the former Leyton Orient man tried to do far too much on his own.
In the 23rd minute, Marcus Epps tried a left-footed shot (or perhaps a pass?) from the top of the box that was just outside of the far post.
In the 28th minute, Justin Meran played a great through ball that sprung Kamara in alone on the goalkeeper, however John McCarthy came outside of the box and cleared it before Kamara could corral the pass.
In the 40th minute, Meram had a look at goal from about 20 yards out but his shot didn’t curl quite enough to get inside of the goalposts, and the match remained scoreless.
In the 42nd minute, Jack Elliott handled the ball deep in the Union’s end and a free kick was awarded just outside of the box. On the ensuing kick, Ola Kamara was wrapped up by Josh Yaro and thrown to the turf but referee Silviu Petrescu (thankfully) didn’t see it and the match continued on.
Columbus Crew SC: Zack Steffen; Lalas Abubakar, Alex Crognale, Jonathan Mensah; Jukka Raitala, Wil Trapp, Artur, Harrison Afful; Justin Meram, Kekuta Manneh; Ola Kamara
Philadelphia Union: John McCarthy; Giliano Wijnaldum, Jack Elliott, Josh Yaro, Ray Gaddis; Haris Medunjanin, Alejandro Bedoya; Ilson Jr, Adam Najem, Marcus Epps; Jay Simpson
Scoring: Columbus - None, Philadelphia - None
Disciplinary: Columbus - None, Philadelphia - None