Columbus Crew SC 2, Atlanta United 0 | 2019 MLS Match Recap

Pedro Santos and Gyasi Zardes struck for first-half goals to lead Columbus Crew SC to a 2-0 win over Atlanta United Saturday night at rain-soaked MAPFRE Stadium. 

The Crew raced in front inside of two minutes when Wil Trapp slipped Artur through and his midfield partner sent a low cross in front of goal that took a deflection off a sliding Franco Escobar to Santos, who slammed home from the edge of the six-yard box.

After a nearly hour-long weather delay, Zardes made it 2-0 in the 39th minute with his third goal of the season. Robinho was freed down the left wing by Federico Higuain and sent a low cross in front of goal where Zardes stepped back to meet the ball and put his first-time attempt inside the near post.

In between the goals, Zack Steffen made a pair of stunning diving saves, denying Julian Gressel and Ezequiel Barco in his return after missing the last match with a knee injury.

As conditions deteriorated, Crew SC threatened to put the game away a few times in the second half, including when Higuain stepped to the penalty spot after Miles Robinson and Zardes crashed inside the 18-yard box with a splash. But Brad Guzan did well to dive to his right to keep his team alive in the 58th minute a few minutes after Robinho rattled the woodwork.

Goals

  • 2’ — CLB — Pedro Santos | WATCH
  • 39’ — CLB — Gyasi Zardes | WATCH

Three Things

  • THE BIG PICTURE: There was just one team singing in the rain at MAPFRE Stadium with Crew SC rebounding from their first defeat of the season to move atop the Eastern Conference with 10 points. Last-place Atlanta, meanwhile, leave Columbus drenched with frustration, extending a season-opening winless streak to four games.
  • MOMENT OF THE MATCH: At halftime, Crew SC president Tim Bezbatchenko announced the club will induct the late Sigi Schmid into the Crew Circle on Honor on June 29. Schmid, who passed away on Dec. 25, coached Columbus to the 2008 MLS Cup title and Supporters’ Shield.
  • MAN OF THE MATCH: What a return for Steffen, who missed the 3-0 loss to the Union with a knee injury. He dived to his left to deny a Gressel header and got his right hand on this close-range Barco attempt.

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