MLS

MLS is Back Tournament: Columbus crush Stam's Cincinnati

By Sports Desk July 12, 2020

Gyasi Zardes led Columbus Crew to an impressive win over Cincinnati at the MLS is Back Tournament, while the New York Red Bulls also claimed a victory.

Zardes scored a brace as Columbus thrashed Jaap Stam's Cincinnati 4-0 in Florida on Saturday.

Stam took charge of Cincinnati for the first time since being appointed coach in May, but they were well beaten in the Group E clash.

Columbus opened the scoring in the 27th minute through Lucas Zelarayan, who curled in a wonderful 20-yard free-kick.

Just three minutes later and it was 2-0, Zardes finishing clinically after a pass from Youness Mokhtar.

Zardes got on the end of a lovely cross from Zelarayan early in the second half, finishing from close range to complete his brace.

A fine team move led to the sealer with half an hour remaining, Mokhtar curling into the bottom corner from inside the area.

Also in Group E, the Red Bulls edged Atlanta United 1-0.

The game's only goal came through Florian Valot, who finished in a one-on-one in the fourth minute.

Related items

  • MLS: Columbus, New England into Eastern Conference finals MLS: Columbus, New England into Eastern Conference finals

    Columbus Crew will face New England Revolution in the Eastern Conference finals after their respective wins in the MLS Cup play-offs on Sunday.

    Gyasi Zardes inspired Columbus in extra time of a 2-0 victory over Nashville.

    The United States international's cutback found Pedro Santos to score the opener for the hosts in the 99th minute.

    And, just four minutes later, Zardes sealed the win with a clinical finish in a one-on-one after being played in by Luis Diaz Espinoza.

    Zardes has been directly involved in seven goals (five goals and two assists) in four matches against expansion sides over the past two MLS seasons, according to Opta.

    It was enough for Columbus to reach the Eastern Conference finals for the second time in four seasons, and New England await.

    After finishing eighth in the Eastern Conference, the Revolution beat Thierry Henry's Montreal Impact in the play-in round and stunned Philadelphia Union in the first round.

    They continued their run with a 3-1 win over Orlando City on Sunday.

    Carles Gil's 17th-minute penalty opened the scoring before Gustavo Bou made it 2-0.

    Junior Urso pulled a scrappy goal back for Orlando after the half-hour mark, but their hopes of victory were hurt by Mauricio Pereyra's red card for a dangerous challenge in the 60th minute.

    Still, Nani had a chance to equalise for Orlando in the 74th minute, only to see his penalty saved by Matt Turner.

    The penalty save was just the second by a Revolution goalkeeper from the previous 23 on-target spot-kicks they had faced dating back to March 2016, according to Opta.

    Instead, Bou got on the end of Gil's pass to poke in the sealer four minutes from time, sending New England to the Eastern Conference finals for the first time since 2014.

  • Chelsea 0-0 Tottenham: Lampard and Mourinho cancel each other out at Stamford Bridge Chelsea 0-0 Tottenham: Lampard and Mourinho cancel each other out at Stamford Bridge

    Chelsea and Tottenham failed to fully capitalise on Liverpool's slip-up as Frank Lampard and Jose Mourinho oversaw a tightly contested 0-0 draw at Stamford Bridge.

    With Liverpool pegged back by Brighton and Hove Albion on Saturday, Spurs could have moved two points clear of the Reds at the top of the Premier League. Chelsea – playing the 1,000th game of the Roman Abramovich era – were also vying for pole position.

    Yet despite a bright start in Sunday's London derby, with Timo Werner having a goal disallowed, neither side could make the breakthrough in what was an encounter short of clear chances.

    Looking to score in three consecutive Premier League games for the first time since September 2019, Tammy Abraham missed three presentable opportunities as Chelsea had the better of the second half, with Olivier Giroud also fluffing his lines late on as the points were shared.

    Hakim Ziyech sent a half-volley into Hugo Lloris' gloves in the opening minutes, but Spurs showed their threat on the counter when Harry Kane slipped in Steven Bergwijn, who drilled over.

    Chelsea mounted a swift break of their own two minutes later – Werner finishing in stunning fashion off the right-hand upright – but the offside flag spared Spurs.

    Edouard Mendy then made a fine save from Tottenham full-back Serge Aurier, though that strike was the second of just two attempts on target in what became a cagey first half.

    Chelsea got behind Spurs' line in the 48th minute, with Reece James aiming a brilliant cross towards Abraham, who failed to make solid contact with his header.

    Abraham missed a near-identical chance moments later, before he failed to tuck in from Werner's pinpoint delivery.

    Mason Mount saw a long-range strike kept out with nine minutes to go, though Abraham's replacement Giroud had the best chance of the closing stages, only to lob a tame effort straight to French compatriot Lloris.

  • Milan star Kessie still wants penalties after hit and miss against Fiorentina Milan star Kessie still wants penalties after hit and miss against Fiorentina

    Franck Kessie insists he is ready to step up to the penalty spot once again after mixed returns during Milan's 2-0 win over Fiorentina. 

    The Rossoneri made light of Zlatan Ibrahimovic's hamstring injury absence by restoring a five-point advantage over rivals Inter at the Serie A summit. 

    Captain Alessio Romagnoli was left unmarked to head a 17th-minute opener before Kessie converted from 12 yards following German Pezzella's lunging foul on Alexis Saelemaekers. 

    Kessie sent Bartlomiej Dragowski the wrong way in the 27th minute but the Fiorentina goalkeeper guessed correctly to gain a measure of revenge before half-time, Martin Caceres having brought down Theo Hernandez. 

    “I scored the first, I missed the second but I am going to take the third one,” Kessie told DAZN.

    Ibrahimovic might have something to say about that on his return, despite chequered recent returns from the spot, and the evergreen striker was not the only high-profile absentee, with Milan head coach Stefano Pioli isolating at home after a positive coronavirus test. 

    Pioli spoke to his players via a video call to celebrate their victory and Kessie said: "He congratulated the team, he was happy. It was a very important game." 

    Coach Daniele Bonera took charge on the touchline in Pioli's absence and reserved praise for Kessie, who gained possession more times than any other Milan player (11), contested 16 duels, completed 85.3 per cent of his passes and had five shots in an all-action display. 

    “We know how important Franck is, he has become pivotal in terms of quantity and quality," Bonera told DAZN. 

    "We used to think he was mainly muscle, but he has really improved his technique and we are very happy with him."

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.