Columbus Crew 2, Nashville SC 0 | 2020 MLS Match Recap

Columbus Crew SC maintained their league-best record (8W-1L-3D) and extended their lead atop the Eastern Conference to five points with a 2-0 win against Nashville SC in Week 12 at MAPFRE Stadium.

It was a fairly competitive match from start to finish, which the hosts dominated at first. Nashville grew into the match and both sides traded possession and opportunities. However, the finishing was lacking at both ends, most notably on a collective effort that ended with the Crew's Gyasi Zardes sending the ball over the bar from close range in the 23rd minute. In the end, neither side could manage a single shot on target in a back-and-forth first half.

An offensive breakthrough came quickly in the second half, with the Crew going up 1-0 courtesy of a goal from Pedro Santos in the 50th minute. Zardes made a run down the left side and passed to Santos on the edge of the penalty area, where he finished with a strong left-footed effort.

The Crew goal awakened Nashville, and the visitors dominated large stretches of the second half and eventually responded with their first shot on target in the 61st minute. Alex Muyl made a run from the right side and shot from close range, but Crew goalkeeper Eloy Room was able to make the game's first save. Nashville's dominance in the second half, though, never quite paid off in genuine opportunities. 

Nashville's Walker Zimmerman came up with his side's best chance in the final minutes of the match, but Room made the save and the match ended in the Crew's favor as they closed the match off with a goal in stoppage time. Artur found Zardes near the goal line, and he atoned for his previous error and scored with some fancy footwork right in front of goal.

Goals

  • 50' - CLB - Pedro Santos | WATCH
  • 90' + 2 - CLB - Gyasi Zardes | WATCH

Three Things

  • THE BIG PICTURE: Though it was not their best night, Crew SC can take pride in their growing lead atop the Eastern Conference and the Supporters' Shield standings. They've now opened the season with a perfect start at home (five wins in five) without having conceded at MAPFRE Stadium yet. There are positives to be taken from Nashville's point of view as they dominated long stretches of the second half, though both teams were unimpressive with their finishing ability.
  • MOMENT OF THE MATCH: It was not a good night for finishing, making Pedro Santos's 50th-minute goal particularly valuable and Nashville's missed chances more costly.
  • MAN OF THE MATCH: Gyasi Zardes continued a run of strong form, scoring late in stoppage time and getting the assist on Pedro Santos's opening goal. Zardes was active in attack with three shots overall.

Next Up

  • CLB: Wednesday, September 23 vs. Minnesota United (7:30 pm ET | MLS LIVE on ESPN+ in US; MLS LIVE on DAZN in Canada)
  • NSH: Wednesday, September 23 vs. D.C. United (8:30 pm ET | MLS LIVE on ESPN+ in US; MLS LIVE on DAZN in Canada)

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