Anatomy of a goal: Erik Hurtado scores a draw on the road with his first Columbus Crew goal

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Welcome to The Anatomy of a Goal, where each week we dissect a goal (or near goal) from a previous Columbus Crew game.

For Game 10 of the 2022 MLS season, we’re looking at Erik Hurtado’s 89th-minute goal that secured a 2-2 draw for the Crew against the New England Revolution the Saturday.

Here is a look at the goal, Hurtado’s first for Columbus.

The Black & Gold ended their scoreless streak in style against DC United the previous week with a 3-0 win. This game marked the team’s second consecutive game in the defense-focused 4-3-3 formation and started a new unbeaten streak after a 0-0 draw at SportingKansas City. Head coach Caleb Porter rolled out that 4-3-3 in New England again with Miguel Berry again starting in the lead and Lucas Zelarayan on the bench, working up to 90 minutes of fitness after injury at the throbbing knee.

Berry put Crew ahead in the first half with a goal very similar to Hurtado’s. The Columbus forward started wide and made a last-second run past center back Andrew Farrell before slotting in a goal. The Revolution responded in the second half with two goals and several strikes on the post, taking the lead and putting Columbus on the ropes.

Hurtado’s goal begins with the Revolution in possession. Left-back Pedro Santos pressures midfielder Carles Gil for a careless pass which central midfielder Artur intercepts.

Artur heads for Gil’s pass, forcing the New England player on a defensive run to get the ball back. Derrick Etienne Jr., starting at right-back after a lingering injury to Steven Moreira and a pre-game injury to Marlon Hairston, crosses the halfway line to run to former teammate Emmanuel Boateng.

Artur easily beats Gil from the dribble and is left with plenty of options. He can make a quick pass to midfielder Darlington Nagbe, sideline pass to Santos, hit a direct ball to Hurtado, attempt a diagonal pass to Zelarayan, carry the ball forward or pass the pitch to Etienne.

Artur takes a few steps forward as Zelarayan falls towards midfield. The Brazilian pushes the ball towards the No.10, who takes possession. Etienne stays wide and makes an unmarked run forward.

Zelarayan lets the ball run past him, turns around and quickly plays a first touch pass to Etienne.

Etienne recovers the ball near the touchline in front of Boateng. The Crew attack followed with winger James Igbekeme making a run towards the middle of the goal area, Artur making a late run to the top of the box, winger Luis Diaz drifting towards the middle of the box. surface and Hurtado running diagonally towards goal. Etienne must decide if he tries to beat Boateng from the dribble or play a cross into the penalty area.

The right-back watches Hurtado’s run past New England centre-back Omar Gonzalez and strikes a quick cross towards the penalty area.

Hurtado runs from left to right across the frame, cutting past Gonzalez to take an open look at the ball. As mentioned, this is an almost identical run to Berry when he scored in the first half. Runs like this, between centre-backs, are common but clearly seemed like a point of attention for Columbus in Saturday’s game.

Hurtado easily beats Gonzalez to the ball and hits a first touchdown shot towards goalkeeper Matt Turner.

Turner has very little time to react and can only throw his arm when the ball passes by him…

…at the bottom of the net!

Results:

  1. Porter often mentioned that the Crew needed to score the first goal to set the tone in games. The Black & Golld scored that first goal in New England, but still found themselves trailing 2-1 in the closing stages of the match. Road points are hard to find in MLS and even harder to grab when you’re behind.
  2. Etienne came into the game as a last-second right-back and put in a man-of-the-match level performance. The young winger has recovered well from a tough 2021 season and argued he should be in the starting line-up going forward.
  3. Hurtado does exactly what he was supposed to do as a late replacement. He uses his cool legs to make a quick run past a defender and easily finishes the goal.

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