The Columbus Crew started their 2023 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup campaign against a tough opponent in Indy Eleven. Columbus learned their draw for the third round, and were able to host the USL Championship side at Lower.com Field. With the Crew resting a majority of their starters, the home side was able to push for a 1-0 win, thanks to a late goal from Mo Farsi in the 83rd minute.
Columbus were on the front foot early, hammering their attack at the expense of the Indy Eleven defense.
Cucho Hernandez almost got the party started with a bicycle kick in the 10th minute from a Max Arfsten cross, but the Colombian’s attempt wasn’t enough to put pressure on the Indy Eleven netminder.
It was Indy Eleven who also could’ve broke the deadlock when Harrison Robledo had a shot from just outside the 18-yard box, but sailed it just high over the crossbar.
A chance in the 20th minute saw midfielder Isaiah Parente hit a loose ball inside the box on goal, but the shot was saved by goalkeeper Yannik Oettl, who would put on a show for the rest of the night.
Just 10 minutes later Darlington Nagbe had a shot on goal, but forced a diving save from Oettl.
A 0-0 scoreline at the half would see Columbus struggle to find the back of the net, with Oettl being strong in goal keeping the opposition alive.
The Crew had a good chance to grab a penalty in the 52nd minute, but the official saw no foul when Alex Matan was brought down inside the box.
Midfielder Yaw Yeboah had a shot on goal from close range, only to be denied by Oettl yet again. Still searching for the icebreaker goal, the Columbus Crew were not letting up on the pressure, giving Indy Eleven’s defense plenty to work for.
Columbus finally got on the board in the 83rd minute, when Mo Farsi and Steven Moreira played a give-and-go with one another and Farsi put the ball in the back of the net, to give Columbus the win and advance to the Round of 32.
Columbus will travel to Virginia as they face Loudon United May 10, at 7:30pm EDT.