The Columbus Crew defeated Atlanta United FC 2-0 Wednesday night in the first-ever Lower.com Field playoff game.
COLUMBUS, OHIO--- For the 15th consecutive time, LDC field carried a capacity crowd for the Crew's matchup.
Atlanta United had no response for the electric atmosphere. The Black and Gold dominated the game in almost every aspect.
Cucho Hernández got the scoring started after the 45th minute, fighting off Ronald Hernández and sending the ball into the top left corner of the goal.
Check out this other angle... pure energy:
The second half started to get chippy. Aidan Morris was the recipient of some rough stuff from United FC.
"It's tough, especially with myself, when you're getting beat up not to get emotional and get carried away with the wrong things," Morris said after the game.
Tristan Muyumba picked up a yellow card for United FC, as well as Miles Robinson and Jamal Thiare. For Columbus, Rudy Camacho and Diego Rossi received yellow cards.
Cucho scored the second and final goal of the match, beating goalie Brad Guzan on a penalty kick.
Columbus ended the night with 14 shots, eight of which were on goal. Atlanta mustered one shot in the 64th minute that failed to make it on goal. Columbus led possession numbers, holding the ball 53% of the game. Atlanta had 14 fouls compared to Columbus' eight.
Goaltender Patrick Schulte had an extremely quiet night. "I’ll always take a game where there are zero shots on goal," Schulte said. "Obviously the people in front of me are doing their job. Yeah, I just think there was a lot of communication. We knew coming into playoffs that margins were small, so communication was vital."
With the win Wednesday, the Crew have now won 18 of its 27 home playoff matches. Cucho added two goals to his impressive 16 goal mark on the season.
The Crew will travel to Atlanta to play United FC in game two next Tuesday at 7 p.m.
It is a best-of-three series, so the Crew will clinch an Eastern Conference semi-final appearance with a win.
If they lose, they are back in Columbus next Sunday, November 12th.
-Ian Phillips for Yamo Media