Columbus Crew SC responded to last week’s hamming by Toronto FC with a resounding 3-0 win over the current MLS Cup holders Seattle Sounders FC. Tonight’s performance was in stark contrast to last week, with the team playing with energy and speed throughout and pinpoint finishing providing the key to the win.
The Crew struck early on and it was Federico Higuain with his fifth goal of the season on 10 minutes. A loose ball out of defense was intercepted by Hector Jimenez and found Higuain, who controlled and unleased a crisp strike from the edge of the penalty box that found the bottom left corner.
Just over ten minutes later Columbus had its second and it was man of the match Justin Meram with his eighth of the season, tying his career high for goals in a season. Wil Trapp’s clearance out of defense found Meram in the center of the pitch; he carried the ball forward and with the Seattle’s defense backing off, unleashed a looping shot to find the left corner of the goal.
There were more chances for Columbus before the half was out and it was Higuain with their best. Ola Kamara had spread the play out wide and Jimenez squared for Higuain, but he could only scoop the effort over the bar.
Seattle with all their nice inter play in midfield were unable to register a shot on target to test Zack Steffen in the first half.
Crew SC continued to dominate the game in the second half and Kamara should have got on the score sheet early on. Meram again was running at the defense and played in Kamara in the right side of the area and his shot hit the near post and rebounded to safety.
The same duo combined again on 59 minutes and this time the outcome was the third goal for Crew SC. Meram, running with the ball into the center, played a reverse ball down the left to Kamara whose left- footed shot across goal nestled in the far corner.
Seattle finally upped their game late in the second half, forcing Steffen into work. His best save came on 72 minutes to deny Alvaro Fernandez. He was played in the left side of the area by Alonso and the poked finish was smartly saved down to Steffen’s left.