Columbus Crew outscore Atlanta United to clinch series


Malte Amundsen's banger helps propel Crew to semifinals

Malte Amundsen scores from long range as Columbus Crew thrash Atlanta United to move on to the semifinals of the MLS playoffs.

Alex Matan and Diego Rossi each scored and had an assist as the host Columbus Crew scored a wild 4-2 win over Atlanta United in the deciding third match of the Eastern Conference first-round series on Sunday.

The Crew will play at Orlando City in a single-elimination conference semifinal on Nov. 25.

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Columbus raced to a 3-0 lead on goals by Darlington Nagbe (9th minute), Malte Amundsen (17th) and Matan (33rd).

Giorgos Giakoumakis made it 3-1 in the 35th minute before Rossi scored in the 47th, only to have Xande Silva make it 4-2 in the 50th. Brooks Lennon had two assists for Atlanta.

Atlanta avoided elimination in Match 2 at home on Tuesday with a 4-2 victory following the Crew's 2-0 win in Columbus in the Nov. 1 opener.

The Crew led MLS with 67 goals in the regular season. Atlanta had one goal fewer so it was not surprising the teams combined for a classic.

Nagbe, who won the MLS Cup with Atlanta in 2018, made it 1-0 with a shot from 23 yards, taking advantage of an unforced giveaway from Miles Robinson to score with a skimming shot to the lower left corner.

Amundsen's goal was even more stunning. The left back was given room to advance freely, and he drilled a strike from 35 yards into the upper right corner.

The Crew made it 3-0 on the counter when Matan scored from the right side after a pass by Rossi.

Atlanta quieted the crowd two minutes later when Giakoumakis cut the deficit to 3-1. He raced down the middle to take the service from Lennon for his second goal of the series.

Rossi extended the lead to 4-1 in 47th minute from a through ball by Matan, but back came Atlanta when Lennon found Silva in front of the net to make it 4-2.

Brad Guzan had four saves for Atlanta. The Crew's Patrick Schulte made two.