Harrison Afful and Jonathan Mensah star as Columbus Crew upset DC United

Sports News of Friday, 2 November 2018

Source: GHANAsoccernet.com


Harrison Afful played a key role in his team’s victory over D.C United in the play-offs

Duo Harrison Afful and Jonathan Mensah were named in the Columbus Crew starting XI line-up as they beat D.C. United 3-2 on penalties to reach the Eastern Conference semi-final.

Afful, who provided a prosaic cross for Federico Higuain to nod home for a 2-1 lead, was replaced in injury time of extra time.

Centre-back Mensah lasted the entire duration.

Both teams played to a 2-2 draw after 120 minutes on Thursday night.

As he did in Atlanta a year ago, Zack Steffen again played the hero, diving to deny both Wayne Rooney and Luciano Acosta in the shootout.

Nick DeLeon, who struck for a 116th-minute equalizer, had a chance to send the shootout into a sixth round, but he skied his attempt as the Crew celebrated in front of a stunned sellout crowd at Audi Field.

Federico Higuain, Wil Trapp and Niko Hansen converted in the shootout for Crew SC, who advance to meet the New York Red Bulls in the Eastern Conference Semifinals.

Frederic Brillant gave D.C. United the lead on 21 minutes after Steffen spilt an Acosta end line cross into the central defender’s path in front of goal.

A little less than 10 minutes later, Higuain levelled, sliding in to knock in a loose ball on the edge of the six-yard box.

Higuain’s second goal of the game, a rare header, gave Crew SC their first lead six minutes into extra time.

But DeLeon levelled 20 minutes later, sending Audi Field into a frenzy when he intercepted an attempted Gyasi Zardes clearance and hit a volley that found its way through traffic and inside the near post from 20 yards out.

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