MLS 2020 saw the fall of Seattle Sounders at the final moment, unable to defend their title.
Columbus Crew win MLS 2020
On Saturday (12 December 2020), Columbus Crew defeated the defending champion Seattle Sounders to win the MLS 2020 Cup. The match ended 3-0 with Lucas Zelarayan scoring 2 goals and Derrick Etienne with 1. The match was played at Columbus Crew Stadium, Ohio.
The team missed few important players for the final, yet Coach Caleb Porter was successful in instilling winning spirit in players. To that, players responded to put aside the recent history of Seattle Sounders to cap one of the most unpredictable MLS seasons.
MLS 2020 Final: Columbus Crew Vs Seattle Sounders Review
Lucas Zelarayán scored for Columbus Crew midway through the first half. He added another in the 82nd minute. Derrick Etienne Jr. also scored in the first 45 minutes. Seattle’s second half pressure was successfully withstood by the Crew, which allowed them to celebrate after Zelarayán’s second goal.
Obviously, the star of the night was Lucas Zelarayán, newcomer of the year and largest signing in franchise history. His performance proved vital with the absence of midfielders Darlington Nagbe and Pedro Santos. They were tested Covid-19 positive last week.
It was the first time this season that the team played without either player in its line-up. In the 25th minute, Zelarayán scored off a perfect pass from Harrison Afful, getting behind Seattle fullback Alex Roldan. He snaked his left-footed volley past goalkeeper Stefan Frei.
Zelarayán made a smart play 6 minutes later, finding Etienne, whose curling shot gave Columbus a 2-0 lead. For the final goal, Zelarayán showed patience to find space before rocketing a left-footed shot.
After that, the Seattle Sounders needed a frantic comeback. They had numerous chances in the second half, but attempts failed to find the net. In the 71st minute, a shot by Nicolas Lodeiro went inches wide. Svensson’s header off a corner kick, 3 minutes later, failed to find the target.
In the 80th minute, Jordan Morris’ header was saved by Eloy Room which ended their hopes of fighting for MLS 2020 Cup.
Columbus Crew Coach Caleb Porter’s words
After the victory, Crew’s Coach Caleb Porter expressed his joy and said:
“We were not going to let history in the past determine today. This is our year. This is going to be our year, it was going to be our day and it was going to be our trophy. And that was my message before the game. I don’t care what they’ve done in the past, it’s going to be decided on today.”
He also heaped praise on Zelarayan and said:
“This guy (Zelarayan) was unbelievable. I don’t think he took any wrong step for 90 minutes. He just got the ball every time. He carved space for himself, all the time.”
Seattle Sounders’ goalkeeper Stefan Frei’s words
Seattle Sounders goalkeeper Stefan Frei praised Crew’s victory and said:
“It’s a massive opportunity to go back to back, which happens very rarely. It’s a massive, squandered opportunity for us and all credit to them. They played a good game. They were hungry for MLS 2020 title.”
Seattle Sounders’ Coach Brian Schmetzer’s words
Brian Schmetzer, Seattle Sounders’ coach, reacted positively to their loss:
“It’s certainly not a good way to end your season. But I would circle back and say that the club, the team, did come back through some adversity, and made it to another final, back to back, which is very hard to do in a league like MLS with parity.”
He also added:
“Obviously, you go one goal down, that’s OK. But going two down certainly was a dagger. That was something that you have to give credit to Columbus.”
For further details, do see: https://www.mlssoccer.com/.