Sports

Crew SC tangle with Fire at Mapfre

Columbus, OH (SportsNetwork.com) - Columbus Crew SC will shoot for a bounce- back performance on Friday when the club welcomes Eastern Conference rivals Chicago Fire to Mapfre Stadium.

It's been an up-and-down month for Crew SC with two losses and a victory through three matches in May and the club will aim to close out the month with a victory over one of their closest rivals.

Last time out, Crew SC struggled in a 2-0 loss to the San Jose Earthquakes at Avaya Stadium.

The match swung in favor of San Jose when Crew midfielder Mohammed Saeid was given his marching orders by referee Kevin Stott after a late challenge, reducing the visitors to 10 men.

Columbus held out over the remainder of the first half to get into the dressing room on level terms, but playing a man down caught up with them in the second half.

The hosts opened the scoring 10 minutes into the second half as Chris Wondolowski got on the end of a cross from Jordan Stewart and nodded it home, taking him within one of goal the century mark.

Just five minutes later the 'Quakes doubled the lead as Shea Salinas collected the ball on the edge of the box, played a quick one-two with Matias Perez- Garcia and slotted it past Columbus goalkeeper Steve Clark with ease.

"I think that the first half was okay. Even after we got the red card we managed to hang in there and still become dangerous and still keep the ball a little bit," said Crew SC head coach Gregg Berhalter. "The second half, particularly the start, wasn't good enough and that���s disappointing. We had better intentions and we wanted to put up a better fight. To give up two goals in the first 15 minutes wasn't good."

"I don't think there are many positives to take from the game to be honest," Berhalter added. "I think that we'll learn from it, but there are not many positives to take from it."

Chicago. meanwhile, will be looking for three points after surrendering a late equalizer in a 2-2 draw against New York City FC at Yankee Stadium.

Chicago opened the scoring after 14 minutes when Razvan Cocis got on the end of a cross from Shaun Maloney and Jeff Larentowicz buried a penalty kick in the 26th minute to double the lead.

But New York battled back to pull within one on the stroke of halftime through Mehdi Ballouchy and the equalizer came in the fourth minute of added time as rookie Khiri Shelton fired it home to save a point for New York.

"I thought it was probably the best we've played in a long time in the first 44 minutes. There could have been more. I just talked to the guys in there and I'm just disappointed in how we handled the second half," said Chicago head coach Frank Yallop. "We just stopped playing. I think the goal right before halftime obviously gives them hope, then you've just got to get one goal to get a tie. I just felt that we allowed them to play when we shouldn't have. We had chances to bury the game as well, but still, we shouldn't give them a chance. We're just disappointed."

The teams met twice last season with Columbus earning a 2-0 win on May 24 and a 1-1 draw on Aug. 2.