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2020 Major League Soccer, Regular Season
  • Youness Mokhtar (18')

Columbus Crew beats Atlanta United to win group in MLS is Back

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Columbus Crew send Atlanta United packing with 1-0 victory (1:51)

Atlanta United's miserable stay at MLS is Back ends with no wins and no goals. Watch MLS on ESPN+. (1:51)

Youness Mokhtar's goal in the 18th minute led Columbus to a 1-0 victory over Atlanta United on Tuesday, and the Crew clinched first place in Group E of the MLS is Back Tournament near Orlando.

Columbus (4-0-1, 13 points in the regular season) won all three tourney games by a combined 7-0 score. The Crew will play the second-place team in Group D on July 28.

- MLS is Back Tournament group standings
- Stream MLS Is Back LIVE on ESPN networks, ESPN app (U.S. only)
- Replay: Watch Columbus' group-topping win over Atlanta
- Play Soccer Playoff Pick 'Em through the knockout rounds

Atlanta (2-3-0, 6 points) was eliminated from the central Florida event after losing all three of their matches by 1-0 scores. The Five Stripes have struggled to find offense without standout striker Josef Martinez, who sustained a torn knee ligament in the season opener vs. Nashville SC.

The Crew were minus goalkeeper Eloy Room, who had two consecutive shutouts and three in four games this season. He was sidelined due to a hamstring injury sustained late in a 2-0 win vs. the New York Red Bulls on Thursday.

Andrew Tarbell replaced him and made his first MLS appearance since starting for the San Jose Earthquakes on Sept. 29, 2018, in a 3-2 loss to the Houston Dynamo.

He made six saves, including one on a tight angle shot by Anton Walkes in the 90th minute. In the second minute of stoppage time, Tarbell denied a long shot through traffic by Manuel Castro.

Mokhtar gave Columbus the lead with his second goal of the season and the tournament. He pushed the ball to Milton Valenzuela on the left flank. Valenzuela found Mokhtar in the middle of the box, and Mokhtar's shot deflected off an Atlanta player and the right post to complete a 19-pass sequence.

The Crew's injury run continued when Mokhtar exited in the 44th minute with a possible right leg ailment.

Atlanta showed some life early in the second half when Pity Martinez in the 49th minute and Emerson Hyndman nine minutes later tested Tarbell.

The Crew forced Atlanta goalkeeper Brad Guzan to make only two saves while being outshot 15-9 but still won their third consecutive meeting with the Five Stripes.