The Columbus Crew put an end to New England’s fairy tale run to advance to the 2020 MLS Cup Final on Sunday, winning 1-0 behind Artur’s composed finish following a terrific team move.
The victory ensured a third and final MLS Cup contested at MAPFRE Stadium — Columbus moves into a new stadium next summer — regardless of who wins Monday’s Western Conference final between Seattle and Minnesota. Columbus finished fourth in the overall table, whereas Seattle finished sixth and Minnesota ninth.
The Revolution shocked analysts by qualifying for the playoffs through the play-in round before upsetting Supporters’ Shield-winning Philadelphia and Nani’s Orlando City, and that magical touch lingered in the opening 45 minutes through goalkeeper Matt Turner.
The Crew amassed five shots on target and six corners in the first half compared to zero in both categories for the Revolution, but Turner used his strong hand to beat back the advances.
¡Tiki-taka y el cumpleañero @luis_diaz2206 da el primer aviso por parte de @ColumbusCrewSC!#CLBvNE | Audi #MLSCupPlayoffs pic.twitter.com/yZa8Pu6UOr— MLS Español (@MLSes) December 6, 2020
Bueno. pic.twitter.com/p9MVGgy2Nm— New England Revolution (@NERevolution) December 6, 2020
MATT TURNER IS GOOD AT GOALKEEPING#CLBvNE // @Audi #MLSCupPlayoffs pic.twitter.com/crr2pNBzCd— Major League Soccer (@MLS) December 6, 2020
The Revs did strike the post after Carles Gil eliminated Jonathan Mensah with a ball over the top, but Adam Buksa might’ve chosen the wrong option.
— New England Revolution (@NERevolution) December 6, 2020
The second half began with Andrew Tarbell denying Buksa after the striker again angled a drive at the near post, and Turner then did the same at the other end by stonewalling Gyasi Zardes.
However, the breakthrough finally arrived in the 59th-minute after Lucas Zelarayán twisted and turned out wide before picking out Mensah with a deep cross. The Ghanaian defender calmly played it into the path of Artur, and the Brazilian side-footed his first-time finish from 15 yards out.
ARTUR PUTS THE CREW AHEAD! IT'S 1-0!#CLBvNE // @Audi #MLSCupPlayoffs pic.twitter.com/8z0p2KeAgK— Major League Soccer (@MLS) December 6, 2020
— x - Columbus Crew SC (@ColumbusCrewSC) December 6, 2020
New England’s search for an equalizer largely funneled through Gil, and he presented Gustavo Bou with one last opportunity that was smothered by Tarbell.
¡LA PANTERA!@gustavobouok cerca de conseguir el empate para los #NERevs.#CLBvNE | Audi #MLSCupPlayoffs pic.twitter.com/5d2cFYWw0v— MLS Español (@MLSes) December 6, 2020
The final at MAPFRE Stadium takes place on Saturday, Dec. 12, at 8:00 p.m. E.T. on FOX, UniMás and TUDN.