Source: Crew SC Communications
Columbus Crew SC ended a three-game, eight-day run with a 2-1 victory over the Colorado Rapids at MAPFRE Stadium on Saturday night, led by midfielder Federico Higuain's game-winning strike and a notable scoring milestone from Gyasi Zardes as the Black & Gold claimed three points on Hispanic Heritage Night.
Columbus (13-9-8) opened up the scoring in the 17th minute when Zardes slipped through the backline into the penalty box following a deft pass from Higuain.
Zardes sent his shot right past Colorado goalkeeper Tim Howard for his 50th career regular-season goal in Major League Soccer and 16th of the 2018 season, tying a personal single-season career-high first established in 2014. On that play, Justin Meram recorded the secondary assist, marking his first helper since returning to Crew SC this summer.
Colorado responded, however, in the 26th minute on a free kick from Shkelzen Gashi to level the score at halftime.
At the beginning of the second half, Colorado defender Deklan Wynne was shown a straight red card, leaving the Rapids to play the rest of the match with 10 men. Shortly after, Higuain broke the second-half tie with his game-winning goal in the 57th minute. Milton Valenzuela lured Howard out of the goal to give Higuain the open rebound opportunity, as the Maestro sent an easy pass into the back of the net.
Columbus finished the final 30 minutes strong and handed the Rapids their fifth straight loss. Columbus completed 90 percent of its passing attempts and out-possessed Colorado by 55-45 margin. The Black & Gold finished the match with 10 shots on target compared to Colorado’s two.
Columbus stays at home next Saturday, Sept. 29 as it hosts the fifth-place Philadelphia Union at MAPFRE Stadium in a 7:30 p.m. ET kickoff. Crew SC is currently four points ahead of Philadelphia as the two Eastern Conference teams battle with playoff implications on the line.