Ghanaian Trio Afful, Mensah And Abubakar Propel Columbus Crew To MLS Play Offs
Ghanaian defenders Harrison Afful, Jonathan Mensah and Lalas Abubakar were impressive on Sunday night as Columbus Crew defeated Minnesota United FC to clinch a playoff spot.
Three goals from forward Gyasi Zardes propelled Columbus Crew SC to a 3-2 victory over Minnesota United FC.
American-Ghanaian forward Zardes quickly put Columbus on the board after a corner kick from Federico Higuain in the 11th minute.
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 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 centre of the box for Zardes to capture the game-winner.