For the second straight year, Columbus Crew SC advanced out of the Knockout Round on a penalty kick shootout on the road, edging D.C. United, 3-2 in the shootout after the teams played to a 2-2 draw after 120 minutes Thursday night.
As he did in Atlanta a year ago, Zack Steffen again played the hero, diving to deny both Wayne Rooney and Luciano Acosta in the shootout. Nick DeLeon, who struck for a 116th-minute equalizer, had a chance to send the shootout into a sixth round, but he skied his attempt as the Crew celebrated in front of a stunned sellout crowd at Audi Field.
Federico Higuain, Wil Trapp and Niko Hansen converted in the shootout for Crew SC, who advance to meet the New York Red Bulls in the Eastern Conference Semifinals.
Frederic Brillant gave D.C. United the lead on 21 minutes after Steffen spilled an Acosta endline cross into the central defender’s path in front of goal.
A little less than 10 minutes later, Higuain leveled, sliding in to knock in a loose ball on the edge of the six-yard box.
Higuain’s second goal of the game, a rare header, gave Crew SC their first lead six minutes into extra time. But DeLeon leveled 20 minutes later, sending Audi Field into a frenzy when he intercepted an attempted Gyasi Zardes clearance and hit a volley that found its way through traffic and inside the near post from 20 yards out.
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Last modified: juin 17, 2018