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Report: Columbus Crew 0-0 Philadelphia Union

The Philadelphia Union were held to a goalless draw in their season opener against Columbus Crew.

Alejandro Bedoya had the two best chances for the Union, which came in the second half. His first came as he rattled the post with a half volley. Jakob Glesnes headed the ball into the path of the Union captain, who could not squeeze his effort into the back of the net.

Bedoya's second big chance was one from distance. His left-footed shot had power on it, and it took a big hand from Eloy Room to push it wide of the post.

Jim Curtin named an unchanged starting XI for the third successive match as the Union played their first MLS game of the 2021/22 season.

Leon Flach made his MLS debut, and Stuart Findlay was named amongst the substitutes.

Luis Diaz forced Andre Blake into a big save in the opening moments. Diaz managed to get in behind the Union defence, and on the edge of the box, tried his luck. Blake did well to get a solid hand on the effort to push it away from danger.

The hosts kept up their early pressure as the Union struggled to keep possession. Lucas Zelarayan's free-kick from distance was on target but was straight at Blake.

Kacper Przybylko had Philadelphia's first big chance in the 19th minute. Jamiro Monteiro's corner was a pinpoint one, and the striker's header was strong, but Eloy Room did well to get down to his bottom corner and push it away.

Columbus had a big penalty shout in the 24th minute as Jack Elliott appeared to bundle the Crew striker to the ground, but the referee waved away the claims.

Zelarayan came close in the 34th minute. He managed to create some space 30 yards from the goal and tried an audacious effort. Zelarayan's shot was a tricky one, which skimmed the top of the crossbar as Blake stood rooted to the spot.

In the 37th minute, Columbus thought they had a penalty. Jakob Glesnes tripped Pedro Santos as he headed into the box. However, after a VAR review, the referee changed his decision to a free-kick and booked the Union defender.

Alejandro Bedoya had a header off target in first-half stoppage time. Monteiro's free-kick towards the front post was met by the Union captain, but his header was high and wide of the goal.

HALF-TIME: Columbus Crew 0-0 Philadelphia Union

The Union started the second half on the front foot and put pressure on Columbus. Flach forced Room into a save, but it was straight at the goalkeeper.

Diaz forced Blake into a big save in the 59th minute. Santos provided a brilliant cut back towards the edge of the area, and Diaz shot first time. However, Blake was equal to it and palmed it away from danger.

Bedoya rattled the woodwork in the 64th minute. Glesnes headed the ball across the area, and the Union skipper latched onto it with a first time effort. He did well keep his shot under control as it beat Room but not the post.

Philadelphia had another big chance in the 72nd minute. Monteiro curled a cross towards the six-yard box, but Przybylko could not get the final touch as Room pushed the ball out of danger.

With eight minutes to go, Blake pulled off a magnificent save to deny Artur. A free-kick into the penalty area was headed down to the midfielder, who struck it first time. Blake did brilliantly getting across and parrying it away, and Gyasi Zardes headed the rebound over the bar.

Room made an incredible save to deny Bedoya in the 88th minute. The midfielder had the ball in acres of space and decided to try his luck. His left-footed effort was a fierce one, and Room did well to push it wide of the post.

Substitute Sergio Santos forced a save from Room deep into stoppage time. He did well to skip past the defender, but his effort was a tame one as the Columbus keeper got a solid foot on the shot.

FULL-TIME: Columbus Crew 0-0 Philadelphia Union

Columbus Crew: Room, Afful, Mensah, Williams, Valenzuela, Artur, Kitchen, Diaz (Etienne JR 65'), Zelarayan, Santos (Matan 88'), Zardes (Wright-Phillips 84')

Unused Substitutes: Lampson, Francis, Abdul-Salaam, Keita, Parente, Berry

Philadelphia Union: Blake, Mbaizo, Glesnes, Elliott, Wagner, Martinez, Bedoya, Flach, Monteiro, Fontana (Santos 62'), Przybylko

Unused Substitutes: Freese, Real, Harriel, Collin, Findlay, McGlynn, Sullivan, Aaronson

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