For the first 90 minutes, the Whitecaps were invisible. Literally. The Saturday night showdown between the Crew and the Caps was delayed by inclement weather and so fans were left with an extra hour and a half of TSN filler programming and a chance to filter through their brains for a memory of a goal, a point, or (for the very ambitious) a win.
The game itself began as many Caps matches have of late, with a quick extinguishing of the Whitecaps' hopes and dreams. Ola Kamara's tidy finish - one of the sort Whitecaps strikers can only dream of - put the Barbasol Yellows up 1-while simultaneously eliciting a collective groan and movement of heads into hands from the majority of Whitecaps supporters.
But the game wasn't over.
Somehow just two minutes after the Crew's opener, a Russell Teibert cross deflected past Steve Clark and into the net, breathing life back into the game and prompting Caps fans to collectively peer through their fingers and back towards their televisions.
The hope that came with that haphazard goal and its consequent breaking of the Caps scoring drought continued through the halftime break and into the second half. Although the Crew put the pressure on at times, the game continued at an even pace. Andrew Jacobson came on for Russell Teibert and Erik Hurtado on for a lacklustre Giles Barnes.
Luck seemed to be staying on the Caps side for a change, as one particularly hairy Harrison Afful cross glanced off the shin of David Edgar but stayed just outside the post in the 64th minute. Then again in the 69th, Afful had a laser of a shot careen just over the bar.
And suddenly in the 74th minute, a moment of brilliance. The substitute Andrew Jacobson dipped and swerved towards the top of Columbus' 18-yard box and smashed an inch-perfect shot into the bottom right corner. The goal was as clinical as it was surprising. Out of nowhere, the Caps were in front and the relief among the squad was evident in their celebrations. A swarm of soaking wet jerseys surrounded a beaming Jacobson and must've brought a smile to even the most cynical of Caps fans watching on.
Hardly a moment had gone by for the fans and players to enjoy their lead, when it was almost snatched from grasp. Only the quick-moving palm of David Ousted kept the Caps lead intact. A magnificent save off of a deflected shot added to the team's ever-growing confidence.
Then, the impossible happened. Erik Hurtado scored a goal.
Cristian Techera's ambitious shot was saved by Steve Clark, and on the ensuing corner David Edgar smashed a ball into Clark's chest and Hurtado was there to bundle in the rebound. Despite the fact that it was a practically unmissable chance, the goal will do wonders for Hurtado's confidence. After such a dismal showing as last Saturday's game against the Red Bulls, another goalless performance might have crushed his spirits beyond repair.
The game continued its craziness into the latter stages, with Toni Tchani being sent off for a strange and unnecessary kick into Hurtado's shins.