Crew SC Heads to Playoffs after 5-0 Win Over DC United
An emphatic Columbus Crew SC made their play-off intentions clear as DC United fell victim to a rampant offense from the home team that ran out winning 5-0.
With both Federico Hiquain and top scorer Kei Kamara missing through suspension it was unclear how Crew SC would adapt but much of Columbus’ joy this year has come from the depth of the squad and replacements Jack McInerney and Mohammed Saeid stepped in with a goal and two assists between them.
The Crew SC domination of possession started from almost the opening whistle and the home team grabbed the first goal after 25 minutes when McInerney found himself through on goal thanks to Saeid’s slick pass and the Crew SC striker made no mistake with a confident finish.
Justin Meram doubled the lead early in the second half when the Iraq International managed to beat DC ‘keeper Bill Hamid at his near post with a left-footed poke.
Most teams would’ve been pretty content to be 2-0 up with about 30 minutes left to play but Columbus saw a chance to make a statement and continued to push forward and looked dangerous at every attack.
In the 66th minute McInerney again found himself through on goal but unselfishly tapped the ball into the path of a wide open Ethan Finlay who simply could not miss.
Directly after the restart, Finlay again found himself in the box. This time with people in his way, the winger twisted and turned before firing a low drive across the box and into the back of the net.
The Nordecke hit party mood shortly after, as “Ole!” chants echoed around the ground as the Crew SC turned the game into a keep-ball training exercise as a dejected looking DC United simply had no answer to the home team’s dominance.
Substitute Aaron Schoenfeld added the 5th in the 81st minute when his long leg stretched out to poke home Waylon Francis’ cross.
Perhaps more importantly for Crew SC was the clean sheet and Parkhurst/Sauro partnership that’s quickly coming together at just the right time. Steve Clark was also in fine form and made a couple of outstanding saves in the first half when the game was still tied.
The win snatched the 2nd place spot from DC United and catapulted Crew SC straight into the Play-off Semi-Finals, and dumped the opposition into the much unwanted knockout round.
The Crew’s play-off game will now take place on November 8th at MAPFRE Stadium.
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Matt Ellis is a freelance photographer who covers bands that visit the city and the Columbus Crew MLS team. More about Matt can be found at Matt Ellis Photography.