FC Cincinnati looked set to take a massive Heineken Rivalry Week road victory when Isaac Atanga broke a 1-1 deadlock with his first MLS goal in the 74th minute. But the visitors were unable to hold that lead or even escape with a draw, as Berry found the leveler and the game-winner in a 78-second span starting in the 81st minute, delivering the Crew three badly-needed points.
Both sides logged quality chances throughout the night, starting when Columbus nearly found the opener twice in a chaotic sequence just nine minutes into the contest that saw them hit the woodwork on both looks.
The first was a wide-open opportunity in transition from Luis Diaz off a cross from Derek Etienne Jr., which the Costa Rican winger smashed off the post. Lucas Zelarayan then collected the rebound and uncorked a curling shot that looked goal-bound, only to see it glance off the crossbar.
Zelarayan wouldn't be denied, though, giving Columbus the lead in spectacular fashion right on the stroke of halftime. It was a vintage free kick from the dynamic Argentine, who hit a perfectly placed shot into the top corner, giving no chance to diving Cincinnati goalkeeper Kenneth Vermeer.
The Crew couldn't hold the lead into halftime, yielding the leveler to Ronald Matarrita, who came through with a highlight-reel strike of his own. The left back collected a cleared corner kick and scorched home an unstoppable shot to the far post.
Cincinnati then stunned the home crowd with a go-ahead goal in the 74th minute through Atanga, who finished off a counterattack with a clinical strike to the far post that gave Jaap Stam's group a great chance to see out a massive victory.
But Berry tied it in the 81st after Vermeer spilled a save in front of goal, allowing for a rebound finish. He then won it in the 83rd after an attempted clearance from Cincinnati deflected off the substitute's thigh and into the net for what stood as the game-winning goal.
- THE BIG PICTURE: It can't be overstated how badly the Crew needed this victory, as the defending MLS Cup champions came into the match reeling. They were in real danger of moving to seven straight losses, but Berry's late heroics flipped the script entirely to help Caleb Porter's group perhaps get their season back on track. It's a brutal result for Cincinnati, who had their rivals on the ropes after Atanga's strike, only to give it away with two preventable concessions.
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: Nobody in MLS does it better than Zelarayan when it comes to scoring off set pieces. His latest highlight-reel finish marked his fifth direct free-kick goal of the season, the most since former Toronto FC star Sebastian Giovinco scored six such goals in 2017. It's the second-most since 2003, when records are available.
- MAN OF THE MATCH: Miguel Berry was an unlikely hero with two late goals after entering in the 73rd minute for just his sixth MLS appearance of the year. He now has three goals in those six games, all of which have come against FC Cincinnati.