The share of the spoils left differing emotions.SEATTLE, Wash.--Sometimes a draw is flattering; sometimes it feels like a loss. For the Columbus Crew, a solid point on the road against the Seattle Sounders FC was a plus.
Steven Lenhart's first goal of the season earned Columbus a 1-1 draw with Seattle after Steve Zakuani's fourth minute goal had put the Sounders FC ahead.
The Crew went on to weather 16 shots from Seattle, including two that clinked off the post.
"I'm proud of the way we've defended over the course of the season so far," goalkeeper Will Hesmer said. "We've been successful because of our defending and not because of our offense as of now."
That success includes an unbeaten record in the league this year. Coach Robert Warzycha credits the work rate of his side for grinding out the points even when the flashy performances haven't set in yet.
"Hard work and determination," Warzycha said when asked what earned his side the point. "We have a good group of guys who understand how to play and respect each other. They leave everything on the field and work hard. We are getting rewarded for our hard work."
Lenhart's goal came as a sucker-punch in first half injury time after Seattle had dominated the opening 45 minutes. While Warzycha lauded the "perfect timing" of the equalizer, former Crew head coach Sigi Schmid lamented the marking which allowed Lenhart to wiggle free in the box.
"When a team's going to cross the ball, the grass isn't going to score, your opponent is," Schmid said. "Lenhart's their best header of the ball and to have him unmarked in the box is criminal."
The most controversial point in the match came in the 85th minute when Danny O'Rourke picked up his second yellow card of the match. In the first half the fullback had slid through Osvaldo Alonso long after the ball had gone to earn his first booking.
Then, with his team on the back foot and defending, O'Rourke slid in late again, this time on James Riley. The tackle looked to have caught Riley, but that's not how O'Rourke saw it.
"James Riley told Robbie [Rogers] after the game it's not a yellow and that he dove," O'Rourke said. "As usual I'm not saying anything against the refs, I don't want to get fined any more than I will. You watch the replay and you can call me and tell me what you think."
Regardless of the call, Columbus rode another resilient defensive performance to a point and a happy ending. By the same token, the tie leaves Seattle with two points in three games and completely dissatisfied.
But draws can be like that.
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