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November 2018
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Zardes scores hat trick in 3-2 win over Minnesota; Crew SC gains playoffs into knockout round

GAME RECAP WRITTEN BY & COURTESY OF COLUMBUS CREW SC COMMUNICATIONS

 

POSTGAME PRESS CONFERENCE WITH CREW SC CAPTAIN WIL TRAPP

 

63,945 Wil Trapp Crew SC Captain Team gets 3 goals from its best player Boads well for the upcoming playoffs 10 28 2018

63,946) Wil Trapp Crew SC captain Delay just 9 minutes into game what did the team want to do after play resumed 10 28 2018

63,947 Wil Trapp Crew SC captain On getting Gyasi Zardes scoring again he now has 19 on the season 10 28 2018

63,948 Wil Trapp Crew SC captain How did the team occupy its time during the hour weather delay 10 28 2018

 

Three goals from forward Gyasi Zardes propelled Columbus Crew SC to a 3-2 victory over Minnesota United FC, and in the process clinching an Audi 2018 MLS Cup Playoffs berth for the Black & Gold on Sunday evening at MAPFRE Stadium.

Thanks to a first-half weather delay, Crew SC had the advantage of knowing their postseason qualification at halftime against Minnesota, as a Montreal Impact loss at New England secured a top-six finish for Columbus.

The victory combined with a loss from the Philadelphia Union saw Columbus finish at fifth in the Eastern Conference.

Following the delay, Zardes quickly put Columbus on the board after a corner kick from Federico Higuain in the 11th minute. Higuain sent a short corner to Milton Valenzuela, who crossed to the middle of the box to set up Zardes for a perfect header. The tally marked Zardes’ 17th of the season and a new personal regular-season career high.

Zardes doubled Columbus’ lead in the second half, capitalizing on a blocked free kick from Higuain. The Crew SC midfielder sent a driven ball directly toward  former Crew SC and current Minnesota goalkeeper Matt Lampson, who coughed it up to a pouncing Zardes as he finished with vigor to make it a 2-0 advantage.

United responded, however, with two straight goals from Francisco Calvin in the 68th and 77th minutes, respectively.

In the 83rd minute, Zardes secured his first career hat trick with a tally similar to his first goal on a ball from Niko Hansen. Defender Harrison Afful ran the ball up the right side of the field and laid it off to Hansen, who delivered a cutting ball to the center of the box for Zardes to capture the game-winner.

Columbus finished the night with 19 total shots and out-possessed Minnesota 52 to 48 percent.