Photos: Columbus Crew SC vs. Nashville SC
It took a lot of persistence and a ton of patience, but in the end Columbus Crew SC moved onto the Eastern Championship after a 2-0 victory over Nashville SC at MAPFRE Stadium on Sunday Evening.
A midweek Covid-19 scare cast a huge doubt over who would actually play on Sunday as multiple players were ruled out, and come game time, arguably the biggest absence was goalkeeper Eloy Room. And while the rest of the starting 11 was mostly kept intact, the bench looked a little thin.
Nashville SC, the Cinderella team of this year’s playoffs, fought Crew SC tooth and nail during a largely enjoyable 90 minutes where both teams had their chances but neither could break the deadlock that would eventually send the game into extra time.
Extra time played out much the same as regular time as Crew SC dominated possession while Nashville SC excelled on the break and picking up on mistakes, yet the game remained locked until Pedro Santos finally found an opening inside the Nashville box and fired home a Gyasi Zardes cross.
Zardes doubled the lead mere moments later with a smartly taken one-on-one to kill off a praise-worthy Nashville SC performance and send Columbus into next Sunday’s Eastern Final game against New England Revolution.
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