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No Columbus Comeback This Time
MLSnet.com, September 24th, 2009 4:15PM

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On Wednesday against Cruz Azul in Concacaf Champions League group play, the Columbus Crew experienced the same situation they faced on Sunday against the Chicago Fire, trailing 2-0 before the halftime break. Against Chicago, the Crew managed to scrap their way back into the game to salvage a 2-2 tie. Against Cruz Azul, however, the Crew couldn't find a way through.

"We created more chances today in the second half than we did in Chicago," Crew coach Robert Warzycha said. The Crew mounted increasing pressure on Cruz Azul in the second half, but missed opportunities and timely saves from goalkeeper Yosgart Gutierrez preserved the 2-0 lead. "Our guys gave a good account of themselves," Crew technical director Brian Bliss said. "They were generating chances but didn't get one to fall with a couple of balls off the post. You're always disappointed when you lose. You can always point out a play here or there when you lose that we should have done better and was the tipping point for the result but overall man-for-man we gave a good account of ourselves. That's a smart team. When they were up 2-0 they knew how to kill a game off."

After Pablo Zeballos gave Cruz Azul the lead in the 14th minute and Alejandro Vela added an important insurance goal in the 39th the visitors were happy to bend but not break. "We did enough to merit the win," Cruz Azul coach Enrique Meza said. "They did a lot offensively but we did enough defensively. We defended well despite the offensive intensity they were coming with and the domination they had at the end. Our defense and our goalkeeper did very well. We lost the ball but a lot of it was due to the pressure they had but we were able to withstand that." The Crew (2-2) remains in  second place in the group with six points, two ahead of Saprissa of Costa Rica. The teams meet Tuesday in Columbus, where the Crew can clinch the final qualifying spot for the next round with a win.

 

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