[The Crew： Wild Run]Behind Gyasi Zardes, Crew scores wild tying goal in stadium opener
It reads like the setup to a joke destined to be told throughout the Arena District late into the night.
“Three men and a ball run into a net and…”
The?punch line, much to the delight of the sellout crowd at the first ever game at Lower.com Field,?was the?tying goal that allowed the Crew to equalize Saturday?after falling into a?2-0 hole to Eastern Conference contender New England. The Crew would?emerge with a 2-2 tie.
The three?players converging on the ball were New England defender Andrew Ferrell and goalkeeper Matt Turner and Crew forward Gyasi Zardes, who had already scored his team’s first goal to halve the deficit. With the Revolution clinging to a 2-1 lead in the 69th minute, Crew midfielder Liam Fraser booted a long ball?out of his own defensive half.
As Turner came out to try and play the ball, it glanced off the right shoulder of Ferrell, who was facing the goal and a full-throated Nordecke at the north end of the stadium. That deflection carried the ball out of Turner’s path, sending it in the direction of the wide-open net.
Then things really got wild.
“As I turned the corner, Andrew Ferrell turned the corner as well,” Zardes said. “I was trying to sprint with the rest of them. Although they got a jump on it, I’m still right behind them so they knew I was coming. Sure enough, it went in, and the ref didn’t call it back.”
Photo gallery:Columbus Crew faces off against New England Revolution
The trio collided, all frantically trying to reach the ball, and ended up a tangled heap?— along with the ball?—?in the back of the net.?The Revolution argued, unsuccessfully, to have the?play overturned. It was officially recorded as an own goal.
“They were all like, ‘Oh, you pushed us,’ ” Zardes said. “I’m like, ‘You guys are running too fast at your own goal for me to push you guys into the goal.’ I’m so glad we were able to secure that goal.”
Crew midfielder Luis Diaz, who had subbed out of the game in the 63rd minute after seeing his first action in more than a month due to injury, watched it unfold from the bench area.
“I have seen very few goals like that, maybe two or three in my career,” he said through a team interpreter. “That’s how soccer is. Nothing is written.”
On this night, it dictated a memorable chapter for what was the first game of a new era for the Crew. And it came facing the Nordecke, making it the first goal to benefit the Crew that was scored at their end of the new stadium.
“I think the fans leave entertained (today),” Crew coach Caleb Porter said.