Columbus Crew vs. Sporting Kansas City, 2012 MLS: Eddie Gaven pulls out point

Jamie Sabau - Getty Images

Eddie Gaven's stoppage-time equalizer kept the Crew within striking distance of the final playoff spot in the East and all but ended Sporting KC's Supporters' Shield hopes.

Eddie Gaven might never live up to the expectations so many had of him when he burst onto the scene as a teenager, but he showed once again why he remains a useful MLS player. The 25-year-old scored a stoppage-time equalizer to salvage a point for the Columbus Crew as they tied Sporting Kansas City 1-1 on Sunday.

The Crew kept pace with the Houston Dynamo for the final playoff spot in the East and are just one point behind with two games left to play.

Sporting KC missed a chance to stay in the Supporters' Shield race, as they are now five points behind the San Jose Earthquakes with two matches to play. They did, however, move three points ahead of the Chicago Fire, who also became the second team in the East to clinch a playoff spot.

Sporting KC took the early lead on an 11th minute goal from CJ Sapong. The goal came when Zusi sent in a cross that deflected off a defender and right to Sapong at the far post. Sapong's initial shot hit off the near post, but the rebound came right back to him and he was able to finish it for his eighth goal of the season. It was also his third goal in five games. Zusi was credited with his league-leading 15th assist.

For most of the 90 minutes that seemed like it would be enough, but some sloppy clearances from KC helped give the Crew life. Just as the match entered stoppage time, Emilio Renterio whipped in a cross that Gaven was able to head past Jimmy Nielsen at the near post.

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