Charlotte FC vs. Columbus Crew: CLTFC playoff hopes end despite Rios, Shinyashiki goals

Khadejeh Nikouyeh/

Charlotte FC’s magic ran out on Wednesday night.

The expansion team that calls Bank of America Stadium home — a group that entered Wednesday having won its last three games for the first time in club history and who by the end of Wednesday played with a champion’s belief — tied Columbus Crew, 2-2.

Mathematically, CLTFC needed a win to stay in MLS playoff contention. The draw ultimately ends the team’s hopes of becoming the sixth expansion team in MLS history to make the playoffs in its inaugural year.

The team had its chances late — two clean shots from Karol Swiderski and Andre Shinyashiki in the 85th minute threatened to level the score at one point, and then one other free kick in extra time gave the team a chance to win it — but it couldn’t convert.

Charlotte FC goals came from two subs — Shinyashiki (extra time equalizer) and Daniel Rios (58th minute).

Columbus Crew’s score came courtesy of Lucas Zelarayan (36th minute) and Luis Diaz (54th minute).

Although CLTFC’s playoff hopes were squashed, the team’s season isn’t over. It’s regular-season finale is Sunday afternoon against the New York Red Bulls.

For updates that were passed along during the game, see below.

What is the Charlotte FC vs. Columbus Crew score?

Charlotte FC 2 — Columbus Crew 2, FINAL

Live updates from downtown Charlotte

90+’: Andre Shinyashiki scores in a header from a pass from Daniel Rios. 2-2. Charlotte FC one goal away from saving its season.

80’: Andre Shinyashiki, one of the team’s leading goal-scorers despite a recent dip in playing time, subs in for McKinze Gaines. That’s all the subs Charlotte FC can use. On the pitch right now: Rios, Swiderski, Bronico, Jozwiak, Shinyashiki, Lindsey, Jones, Walkes, Afful, Sobocinski, Kahlina.

74’: Tonight’s attendance: 34,122. That makes the season average 35,244 on the year.

58’: Who else? Daniel Rios heads in a beautiful cross from Brandt Bronico for the finish and to keep Charlotte FC within striking distance. 2-1, Columbus still leads. The Mexican-born forward has scored the last six goals for CLTFC in Bank of America Stadium.

54’: Derrick Etienne Jr. attacks down the left side and sends a pass across the field — and after Charlotte defender Joseph Mora whiffed on the pass, Luis Diaz makes the finish look easy. 2-0, Columbus leads.

46’: Halftime adjustments from coach Christian Lattanzio... Daniel Rios for Ben Bender and Derrick Jones for Quinn McNeill.

HALF: An early Columbus goal from midfield that caught everyone by surprise is the difference in this one. Both teams having scoring opportunities. Some halftime stats:

  • Possession: CLB 58.1%; CLT 41.9

  • Shots: CLB 10; CLT 3

  • Corners: CLB 0; CLT 1

  • Fouls: CLB 5; CLT 7

36’: Wow! Columbus Crew’s Lucas Zelarayan, setting up after a foul is called, catches Kristijan Kahlina asleep at the proverbial wheel. Zelarayan notices that Kahlina was far off his line, setting up the Charlotte FC defense, and drills one from midfield that sails into the net. 1-0, Columbus leads. (The move was perhaps inspired by Charlotte FC’s Ben Bender, who tried a similar shot from midfield only seconds before Zelarayan’s strike.)

28’: A Charlotte FC scoring opportunity is just barely squandered. Joseph Mora sends a pass from the left side through the Columbus Crew defense and in front of the Crew goalkeeper, and Ben Bender gets a foot on it — but it is sent just off-target. Turns out a lines judge called Bender offside after the fact, so the miss was ultimately inconsequential.

18’: Why is Christian Fuchs not in this one? The team’s captain has served his MLS suspension for his red card earlier this month — but because he was suspended for the game back in July, before it was halted and ultimately postponed — he’ll miss this one, too.

RESTART BEGINS 7:06 p.m.: The ball is dropped, Kristijan Kahlina punts, and we’re underway!

7:01 p.m.: The clock is set to 15:57, and we’re about ready to roll! This one will start with a drop-ball, per MLS restart rules. For other ways MLS rules have wreaked havoc on this match — rules that head coach Christian Lattanzio sounded off on earlier this week — check The Observer’s preview here.

6:55 p.m.: Kristijan Kahlina, who missed the team’s win over Philadelphia Union this weekend with a finger injury, is healthy and will start in goal. Daniel Rios and Kamil Jozwiak, two of the team’s best offensive creators amid the team’s resurgence, are starting on the bench. (MLS rules about in-game postponements influenced this decision.) Full starting 11 for Charlotte FC: Kahlina (GK), Jan Sobocinski, Anton Walkes, Harrison Afful, Joseph Mora, Brandt Bronico, Ben Bender, Yordy Reyna, Quinn McNeill, Karol Swiderski (C), McKinze Gaines. Starting lineup for Columbus Crew: Eloy Room (GK), Josh Williams, Milos Degenek, Pedro Santos, Steven Moreira, Darlington Nagbe (C), Lucas Zelarayan, Aidan Morris, Cucho Hernandez, Luis Diaz, Derrick Etienne Jr.