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Columbus Crew struggle to scoreless draw with FC Dallas

The Columbus Crew and FC Dallas played to a mistake-filled scoreless draw on Sunday afternoon, a hastily-rescheduled game after a fan was injured by lightning the evening before. Jairo Arrieta, David Texeira, and Tesho Akindele all squandered clear-cut scoring chances.

The game was evenly balanced for most of the afternoon, with each team enjoying brief advantages but neither dominating. Columbus reverted to the 4-5-1 formation they've used for most of the season after trying a five-man back line during last week's Open Cup game. Wil Trapp returned to the starting lineup after missing three games with a knee injury, resuming his partnership with Tony Tchani at the base of the midfield. Ben Speas played the floating attacker role, slipping around the field as needed behind Jairo Arrieta.

Hector Jimenez had the first chance to open the scoring in the seventh minute. Speas started the play by feeding a pass to Arrieta, who delicately chipped the ball over his defender for the overlapping Jimenez, but his low effort was well saved by Dallas goalkeeper Chris Seitz.

Dallas was gifted a golden opportunity of their own in the 13th minute. Crew goalkeeper Steve Clark failed to secure a cross from the left flank, falling on the play and leaving Michel with possession six yards from goal. The Brazilian's shot was into the chest of the Michael Parkhurst, however - an ominous sign that offensive efficiency would not be evident in the summer heat and humidity.

Columbus held Dallas without a scoring chance the rest of the first half, while wingers Justin Meram and Bernardo Anor both missed the target on shots of their own. Meram's effort in particular was tantalizingly close, curling inches past the right post from service by Speas.

Dallas fared better in the second half, but only insofar as they set up chances for Akindele - or his replacement David Texeira - to squander. Six minutes after the break Andres Escobar flew down the Crew's right flank, past Chad Barson and Eric Gehrig before feeding the ball to Akindele unmarked in front of the goal. The Dallas reserve was only able to turn the ball onto the far post, however, where it bounced back into play.

Just before the hour mark Akindele had another close range chance, this time from the left flank. Je-Vaughn Watson's cross behind the defense threatened heartbreak, but Akindele awkwardly lifted his shot over the crossbar as Clark came out to challenge.

Berhalter turned to his substitutes in the final twenty minutes, replacing homegrown midfielders Ben Speas and Wil Trapp with Federico Higuain and Kevan George. The Spaniard Alvaro Rey made his debut for the Crew as well in the 80th minute, replacing Justin Meram.

The teams traded a final pair of scoring chances in the closing stages to seal the final score. Akindele's replacement, David Texeira, sent an open header on frame in the 82nd minute but Steve Clark made the stop on the goal line. Two minutes later Columbus thrust up the throat of the field, capped by Rey's lofted pass to Arrieta. The Costa Rican deftly avoided the attention of a pair of Dallas defenders only to crush his shot from close range into the side netting.

Fan injured by lightning

Sunday's game had originally been scheduled for the previous evening, but was delayed by severe weather and then postponed after a fan was struck by lightning. He was sent to the hospital at Ohio State, where he was listed in critical condition on Sunday.

Timeline of events

8' Corner kick, Columbus (left side - cleared by Dallas)
21' Corner kick, Columbus (left side - headed clear)
61' Corner kick, Dallas (right side - punched by Clark)
62' Corner kick, Dallas (left side - punched by Clark)
62' Corner kick, Dallas (right side - no shot taken)
67' Peter Luccin replaces Adam Moffat
68' Kevan George replaces Wil Trapp
68' Federico Higuain replaces Ben Speas
74' Andrew Jacobson replaces Michel
80' Alvaro Rey replaces Justin Meram
80' David Texeira replaces Tesho Akindele
82' Corner kick, Dallas (left side - cleared; second shot saved)

Lineups

Columbus Crew
Steve Clark, Chad Barson, Eric Gehrig, Michael Parkhurst, Bernardo Anor, Tony Tchani, Wil Trapp (Kevan George 68'), Hector Jimenez, Ben Speas (Federico Higuain 68'), Justin Meram (Alvaro Rey 80'), Jairo Arrieta

Unused subs
Matt Lampson, Ben Sweat, Tyson Wahl, Adam Bedell

FC Dallas
Chris Seitz, Matt Hedges, Stephen Keel, Zach Loyd, Jair Benitez, Victor Ulloa, Adam Moffat (Peter Luccin 67'), Andres Escobar, Je-Vaughn Watson, Michel (Andrew Jacobson 74'), Tesho Akindele (David Texeira 80')

Unused subs
Jesse Gonzalez, Nick Walker, Danny Garcia, Ryan Hollingshead