In what turned out to be a beautiful night in Columbus, the Columbus Crew took on an original foe in D.C United.
In the first half, the Crew began the game right where they left off from their last game. Within the first 5 minutes of the game the Black & Gold had two goal-oriented chances to end the goal drought. With shifty footwork on the wing, James Igbekeme was able to get a pass through to Steven Moreira who was able to get it cross the United box to a fast approaching Derrick Etienne Jr. who barely missed just right of the net.
Later, in the 14th minute, Eloy Room was finally faced with his first test of the night with a shot just outside of the box to make his first save of the night.
After sustaining an injury, Moreira left the game in the 17th minute to get looked at further, with Marlon Hairston coming in to replace him.
In what looked like a clear goal for DC United, the Crew got a lucky bounce as the ball went off the post by forward Ola Kamara, and came back to Room for the save
In the 28th minute, Pedro Santos scored the first goal off a free kick for the Crew in the last four games to give the Crew a 1-0 lead.
— The Crew (@ColumbusCrew) May 1, 2022
The aggression by D.C. United made the game get chippy in the 37th minute as Etienne Jr drew a foul, and Brandon Hines-Ike was given the first yellow card of the game.
Rightfully so, the fun began for the Crew when Etienne Jr received a beautiful ball from Josh Williams just outside the box. Etienne was able to get around the defenders to give the Crew a 2-0 lead going into half time.
— The Crew (@ColumbusCrew) May 1, 2022
To say the least, the first half has been nothing but exciting.
Coming out of halftime, the Crew looked to keep the momentum alive.
In the 53rd minute, the Crew were looking to attack the United back line with a strong shot from Berry that was blocked in front of DC keeper Jon Kempin.
Standing tall and stead-fast in the net, Room welcomed a couple strong chances from D.C. in the early part of the 71st minute. Late in the 71st minute, the crowd erupted as Lucas Zeleryan entered the game for Berry.
With 19,402 of the Black & Gold faithful cheering on, Darlington Nagbe gave all the supports a gift to strength the celebration in the 75th minute with a goal off a volley coming from a corner kick.
The toughest test for Room came in the 77th minute, when he was making a save on the right side of the goal and he deflected to the left when a shot came from D.C came in and Santos was there to clear the ball out and keep the clean sheet intact.
As the 82nd minute approach, the fans stood to give Etienne Jr a standing ovation as he left the game to get a well deserved rest and was greet by Yeboah at the sideline and came in to replace him.
The time ticked away, and the Crew slowed the game down and began to play to protect the clean sheet. While playing conservative, Columbus still managed to pick the times to be aggressive and still attack in the 89th minute.
The Black & Gold would hold on for the win and clean sheet,
The smoke settled from the celebration on the field, and the celebration began in the locker room for Pedro Santos as he was named "Man of the Match" by his peers.
Very excited about the win, coach Caleb Porter credited the win by saying "This team plays off the passion and energy of the coach and you could see that tonight because I was more calm and collected and the team saw that and used that to their advantage." Porter, who changed his format to a 4-3-3 last game and for tonight's game, mentioned how "compacting the team was able to play in the middle of the park." The Crew have held the possession advantage over teams in the last four games. Porter stated "We flipped the script tonight. The last few games we have had the possession advantage and tonight we flipped that and you can see the results."
Speaking on Etienne Jr, Porter told him before the game that, "You play better with that chip on your shoulder, and we saw that tonight."
Before the game, captian Jonathan Mensah rallied the team and told them, "That we need to have an obsession with winning type of mentality."
Pedro Santos was asked after the game to walk through his goal. Santos said "He was confident in taking the shot and that he wanted to take the shot, so he told them that he was taking the shot."
Porter, Mensah, and Santos all were highly on the play of Aidan Morris tonight.
Having Morris in the mid-field tonight showed that he belongs as a starter. Whether it was his outstanding defense or his ability to make defenders miss and pass the ball into the tight channels, Morris proved that he is an asset to the team.
Porter told his team "If we can finish with 4 points then we can get back into the pack and be there to compete with everyone in the conference."
The Columbus Crew did just that, finishing out the Month of April with four points has now put the Crew into 5th place, and gives them a chance to compete.
Up next, the Crew have their first true road test of the season when they play three of the next four games on the road against good teams, and only have one home game.
This will truly be a tough test for the Crew as they begin to take form this season.