Photos: Columbus Crew SC vs. Atlanta United FC
Columbus Crew SC finished out the regular season with a 2-1 win over Atlanta United FC and set themselves up for home-field advantage in the first round of the MLS Cup Playoffs.
An unseasonably warm Sunday afternoon at MAPFRE Stadium hosted decision day for the Crew as third place in the East was on the line while the visiting Atlanta needed victory and a little help just to make this year’s playoffs.
Midfield maestro Lucas Zelarayan opened the scoring after half an hour with a superbly-taken, left-footed dink over Atlanta ‘keeper Brad Guzan.
Gyasi Zardes doubled the lead shortly after the break when he finished up a gut-busting run by smashing the ball past a frustrated-looking Guzan in the United goal.
Atlanta pulled one back shortly after when Crew defender Milton Valenzuela tripped Atlanta’s Jurgen Damm inside the Crew box and Marcelino Moreno confidently dispatched the resulting penalty.
Atlanta were reduced to 10-men in stoppage time when Franco Escobar picked up his second yellow of the contest, and after a bit of a scuffle on the sidelines, the defender was eventually escorted to the showers as time ran out to secure both teams’ fates.
Columbus Crew SC will now face-off against the New York Red bulls at MAPFRE Stadium during the first-round of the 2020 MLS Playoffs.
For more information, visit columbuscrewsc.com.
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 on his Instagram.
All photos by Matt Ellis