La Semana

Columbus Crew beat LAFC 2-1 to win MLS Cup for third time

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By Rory Carroll (Reuters)

The Columbus Crew scored rst-half goals through Cucho Hernandez and Yaw Yeboah to beat holders LAFC 2-1 and win their third MLS Cup title.

The Crew dominated possession early on and LAFC’S defence succumbed when a Diego Palacios handball in the 31st minute led to a goal by MVP Hernandez, who slotted home his penalty.

The Crew doubled their lead four minutes later when Malte Amundsen made one of the best assists of the season with a long pass to Yeboah, who put the ball away to delight the rain-soaked, goldand-black clad fans at Jeld.

LAFC, whose style relies on counter attacking, never got into gear in the Jrst half and Crew keeper Patrick Schulte was not forced to make a save until close to halftime.

After the break, Carlos Vela, playing what could be his Jnal game for LAFC, tried to capitalise on a defensive miscue but his shot went directly into the arms of Schulte.

LAFC Jnally responded in the 74th minute when Jesus Murillo stole the ball in the Crew’s half and found an open Denis Bouanga, whose Jrst attempt hit Schulte in the face.

The golden boot winner Jred the rebound home to cut the dejcit but the Crew defence held out to ensure victory on a rainy day in Central Ohio.

“Words can’t describe it,” said midjelder Aidan Morris.

“We’ve made so many sacrijces. What we do in this profession is a lot of work. It’s a lot of days away from your family, it’s a lot of traveling, so to have it end like this is a dream come true.

“That’s what we do at this club and we’ll go for it again next year.”


The win is the latest in a turnaround for the Crew, who were one of the league’s original franchises.

Previous owner Anthony Precourt in 2017 threatened to move the franchise to Austin but a grassroots movement helped keep the team in central Ohio.

Cleveland Browns owner Jimmy Haslam became the club’s owner in 2019 and the team began playing at their new stadium two years ago.

The Crew won their Jrst title in 2008 and second in 2020 in front of a greatly reduced crowd due to the pandemic. Only three players from that squad were in the lineup on Saturday.

Under head coach Wilfried Nancy, in his Jrst season in charge, the Crew’s risk-taking attack scored more goals than any other team during the regular season (67) and post-season (15).

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