The Columbus Crew faced off against D.C. United at Audi Field. The last time these two teams met, it was the Crew who took three points in the home opener 2-0. On Saturday, it was the same 2-0 scoreline that saw the Black & Gold take home all three points thanks to goals by Lucas Zelarayan and Christian Ramirez
Columbus had an opportunity to get on the board early when playmaker Alexandry Matan slid a soft pass to left wing back Will Sands into the penalty box. Sands found Zelarayan who took a touch and had a shot, but it was blocked and cleared by the United defense.
In the 10th minute, the Crew had another good chance to take the lead, but Ramirez had his shot go high over the frame.
D.C. had the team’s first good look in the 12th minute when a cross went right past goalkeeper Patrick Schulte and fell in the penalty box. United attacker Taxi Fountas connected on the loose ball, but the attempt was cleared off of the line by Sands and into the hands of the Crew goalkeeper keeping the score 0-0.
In the 30th minute, the Crew was awarded a free kick after Pedro Santos fouled Matan just outside the 18-yard box to the right side of United goalkeeper Tyler Miller. Zelarayan stepped up to take, but the shot on frame was easily saved by Miller.
The Black & Gold called for a possible penalty kick in the 35th minute when Matan went down, but nothing was given. On the ensuing attack, D.C. midfielder Lewis O’Brien found forward Christian Benteke on the counter attack. Benteke found Fountas on the other side, who hit an off-balanced shot but Schulte made the save with a hard dive to his left.
However, Columbus was awarded the penalty kick from the play in the 37th minute when it was ruled Russell Canouse stepped on the ankle of Matan. Zelarayan took the spot kick and converted, giving the road side a 1-0 lead.
The Crew held the 1-0 lead into the half, looking to increase their chances in the second half. Right out of the gate, the Black & Gold picked up right where they left off.
Wing back Mo Farsi received the bar on the near touchline and took a defender 1 v. 1 before slotting a pass across to Ramirez. The forward found the back of the net with a nifty one-touch finish to double the lead.
United had a chance to pull a goal back in the 69th minute when O’Brien chipped Schulte after a bad pass, but the attempt ricocheted off of the far post.
Ramirez almost nabbed a brace in the 74th minute. Zelarayan played a cross to the striker’s head, but Miller was quick to make the diving save ending in a Crew corner kick.
Columbus held on for the 2-0 win, doing the double against D.C. and outscoring the Eastern Conference rival 4-0 on the year.
In the last three games, the Crew has set multiple club records. Whether it’s scoring six goals for the first time since 2003, the first time in club history the team has scored a combined 10 goals in two games or scoring 17 goals in the first seven games of the season, the Black & Gold have found success under head coach Wilfried Nancy.
As mentioned, Columbus has played well over the last two games, but both of those results came at home. On Saturday, the Crew went on the road and continued the team’s impressive form with its first victory away from Lower.com Field in 2023.
Being able to get the job done at home is one thing. Doing it on the road is another.
The Black & Gold are back at home against the New England Revolution next Saturday. Kickoff from Lower.com Field is set for 7:30 p.m. ET.
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