The night got off to a soggy start in Columbus, Ohio when referee Robert Sibiga whistled for a stop in play in the 10th minute due to inclement weather. The clubs waited for 67 minutes while the storm dissipated and the other MLS Decision Day games continued. After just one shot from either side in the starting ten minutes, forward Zardes broke through a minute into the restart with a set-piece goal off of a Columbus corner.
Both sides battled to keep the score 1-0 going into half time, but ended the half with a nerve-wracking collision. Minnesota forward Angelo Rodriguez's knee collided with the head of Crew SC goalkeeper Zack Steffen. Rodriguez was eventually substituted off the pitch while Steffen played the remainder of the match with a welt above his eye.
Just before halftime Columbus learned that the New England Revolution defeated Montreal Impact 1-0, which meant Crew SC finally clinched the final playoff spot. Zardes again came in hot on the restart for Crew SC, scoring the opening goal of the second half. With the win, Columbus secured the fifth seed in the East and travel to Washington, D.C. to face D.C. United in the Knockout Round.
But it wasn't an easy road.
Minnesota defender Francisco Calvo put the heat on Columbus with two goals in less than 10 minutes. Columbus responded with a final goal from Zardes in the 83rd minute to close the game. Zardes completed his regular-season resurgence with Columbus by lifting himself into third among most single-season goal scorers in Crew SC history.
- 11' – CLB – Gyasi Zardes | WATCH
- 49' – CLB – Gyasi Zardes | WATCH
- 68' – MIN – Francisco Calvo | WATCH
- 77' – MIN – Francisco Calvo | WATCH
- 83' – CLB – Gyasi Zardes | WATCH
MOMENT OF THE MATCH
: The final goal from Zardes secured Columbus as the fifth seed in the East and completed the career refresh for Zardes.