Cucho Hernandez and Yaw Yeboah both found the back of the net in the opening half, leading the Columbus Crew to a 2-1 victory over LAFC on Saturday and securing their third MLS Cup title.
In both 2008 and 2020, The Crew won the championship by defeating the New York Red Bulls and Seattle Sounders respectively. However, they were defeated by the Portland Timbers in the 2015 title game.
The LA Galaxy (five) and DC United (four) are the only teams to have won more titles.
Los Angeles had aspirations of becoming the fourth MLS team to achieve back-to-back championship wins.
In the 33rd minute, Hernandez scored a goal and Yeboah followed with another in the 37th. LAFC’s Denis Bouanga also scored a goal in the 74th minute.
Hernandez scored a penalty kick to give Columbus a 1-0 lead. This was his fifth goal in six playoff games this year. He has successfully converted all nine of his penalty kicks in his time with the Crew.
The referee called a handball on LAFC’s defender Diego Palacios for using his right arm at the edge of the box, resulting in a penalty kick.
This was the initial score permitted by LAFC after four games.
Yeboah extended the lead for his team, Columbus Crew, who had the most goals in the MLS regular season. This happened when Malte Amundsen successfully passed the ball to Yeboah on the left side after a sequence of 11 passes.
Yeboah then proceeded to dribble towards the goal box and successfully scored a shot past the opposing goalkeeper, Maxime Crepeau.
In the first half, Columbus maintained possession for 68.2% of the time and had a 5-1 advantage in corner kicks.
The goal for the Crew in the latter half of the game was to prevent a repeat of what happened to FC Cincinnati in the previous week’s Eastern Conference final. Columbus managed to come back from being down two goals in the last 15 minutes of regular time and ultimately won 3-2 in overtime.
Bouanga scored his own rebound to bring the score to 2-1, after Schulte’s save at the left post. With a total of 38 goals in 49 matches across all competitions this year, Bouanga leads the MLS with 20 goals.
Before appointing coach Wilfried Nancy from CF Montreal, The Crew failed to make the playoffs in the previous two seasons.