Disappointment as Crew Draw Tigres

The Crew walked away on Tuesday night feeling like they were the better team, unfortunately, the draw means the pressure is on the Crew to perform in the second leg in Monterray. Here is what the Crew did well and not so well in their CONCACAF Champions Cup match against Tigres.
Columbus Crew v Tigres UANL: Quarterfinals - Concacaf Champions Cup - Leg One
Columbus Crew v Tigres UANL: Quarterfinals - Concacaf Champions Cup - Leg One / Jason Mowry/GettyImages

The recent CONCACAF Champions Cup (CCC) clash between the Columbus Crew and Tigres UANL was a rollercoaster of emotions that left Crew fans feeling like the team played better than the score-line suggested. Through weather delays and a star striker’s continued (& confusing) absence - let’s dive into the game’s highlights, both positive and negative.

The Good

Diego’s Goal

The Crew showcased their attacking prowess when Diego found the back of the net. His clinical finish after Aidan Morris won the ball in Tigres’ final third could play a huge role in the two leg round of CCC. Crew. Diego’s goal was much awaited by Crew fans and more so by Diego himself as he finally opened his account in the 2024 season.  The DP’s role has expanded with the recent suspension of star striker Cucho (more on this later).

Hinestroza Continues to Shine

The Crew’s biggest offseason signing is starting to get more comfortable on the pitch with his new teammates. He made some great runs, got into good positions and ended up with a 7.5/10 FotMob rating, second only to Rossi.

The Bad

Unfortunately, not everything went smoothly for the Crew:

Aidan Morris Sees Red

Aidan Morris received two yellow cards within 2 minutes for bad tackles in the 75th and 77th minutes. His dismissal disrupted the team’s rhythm and forced them to play with ten men for the reminder of the game.  Fortunately for the Crew, the defense was able to see out the draw. Unfortunately for the Crew, Aidan will miss the second leg in Mexico.

Cucho’s Suspension

Not necessarily a bad moment in the game, Cucho’s absence due to suspension left a void nonetheless. His creative playmaking and finishing was sorely missed. While it felt the Crew were still on the front for most of the game, not having your best player on the pitch is going to make the already difficult task of beating Tigres even more difficult.

Fans and media are in the dark and can only speculate as to why Cucho isn’t on the pitch and how long he will be missing from the team sheet. Wilfried Nancy, the Crew manager, only offered this in his explanation when pressed for details:

The Verdict

In summary, the Columbus Crew displayed flashes of brilliance but also faced significant challenges. The referees seemed to lose his cards when calling fouls on Tigres players, nevertheless, the Crew were able to salvage a draw. 

How will the Crew line up without Aidan Morris in Mexico? Will Cucho see the field? As they prepare for the second leg of the Concacaf Champions Cup against Tigres, the Crew must regroup, address their weaknesses, and come back stronger. It’s a crucial test, and their CCC fate hangs in the balance.