MLSisback Tournament
(Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

Columbus continue to roll in MLSisBack tournament with win over New York Red Bulls

The Columbus Crew swept aside FC Cincinnati on Saturday night and got no love for it at all. Instead of asking just how good the Crew had been, it was questioned just how bad FC Cincinnati was. Therefore Columbus went into Thursday night’s game against New York Red Bulls with something to prove and boy did they ever.

Gyasi Zardes, the former LA Galaxy striker and California native, opened the scoring with a cool finish after 22 minutes thanks to some absolutely horrendous defending by New York. Right-back Kyle Duncan got stuck behind the defensive line his teammates were trying to hold and a lovely through ball by Pedro Santos found Zardes with space and time to fire past David Jensen.

It should have been two eight minutes later when Zardes again broke the Red Bulls defense in half but unselfishly passed off to Derrick Etienne Jr who somehow missed an open goal and instead hit the side netting.

New York was unable to break down Columbus and any real chances were quickly broken up by Darlington Nagbe who control the game from his deep-lying midfield position and had a 100% pass completion rate at the end of the first half going 37 for 37.

The game was all but over two minutes into the second half when Argentinian Lucas Zelarayan struck from just outside the box after Etienne Jr won possession in the Red Bulls half and drove the New York back before laying off to Zelarayan to cooly finish past Jensen to book Columbus’ place in the knockout round of the MLSisBack tournament with one game remaining.

There’s a soccer world outside MLS and Non-League America are on a mission to promote it.

The Crew will play Atlanta United on Tuesday night while the Red Bulls will fight FC Cincinnati on Wednesday night for the right to join Columbus in the knockout stages.

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