ATLANTA — Back in action for the club's second away match across all competitions in four days, Columbus Crew SC visited Major League Soccer-expansion side Atlanta United FC on Saturday night at Bobby Dodd Stadium on the campus of the Georgia Institute of Technology. Despite the 46th goal of Federico Higuain's MLS career and seventh of the season pulling the visitors even at 1-1 in the 26th minute, Atlanta took control in the second half with two unanswered goals.
The 3-1 defeat was just Columbus' third ever loss to a first-year expansion side. Atlanta opened the scoring in the 16th minute when Hector Villalba scored off a Yamil Asad assist before Miguel Almiron (67) and Josef Martinez (88) scored in the second half.
After falling behind just 16 minutes into the wide-open and fast-paced match, Higuain pounced on a ball that Ola Kamara touched backward toward the 6-yard box before poking the fine finish into the back of Atlanta's net. The play produced the second assist of Kamara's season and the first assist of Harrison Afful's.
Crew SC next plays the Montreal Impact at MAPFRE Stadium on Saturday, June 24 with a 7:30 p.m. ET kickoff. Enjoy half-off Budweiser and Bud Light (for supporters ages 21-and-over), Pepsi products, brats and pretzels through the 15th minute.*
*concession items subject to change
The Black & Gold welcome German Bundesliga-side and DFB Pokal-finalist Eintracht Frankfurt to MAPFRE Stadium for an international friendly on Monday, July 17. The match is set to kick off at 7:30 p.m.
Venue: Bobby Dodd Stadium (Atlanta, Georgia)
Referee: Ricardo Salazar
Assistants: Andrew Bigelow, Peter Balciunas
Fourth Official: Mark Kadlecik
Weather: 76 degrees and partly cloudy
ATL – Hector Villalba (Yamil Asad) 16’
CLB – Federico Higuain (Ola Kamara, Harrison Afful) 26’
ATL – Miguel Almiron (Leandro Gonzalez Pirez) 67’
ATL – Josef Martinez (Kevin Kratz) 88’
ATL – Carlos Carmona (caution) 21’
CLB – Harrison Afful (caution) 53’
ATL – Yamil Asad (caution) 54’
Columbus Crew SC: Zack Steffen; Harrison Afful, Josh Williams, Jonathan Mensah, Jukka Raitala; Artur (Mohammed Abu 77’), Wil Trapp ©; Ethan Finlay (Niko Hansen 61’), Federico Higuain (Adam Jahn 78’), Justin Meram; Ola Kamara
Substitutes not used: Brad Stuver, Alex Crognale, Nico Naess, Waylon Francis
Atlanta United FC: Alec Kann; Tyrone Mears, Michael Parkhurst, Leandro Gonzalez Pirez, Greg Garza; Jeff Larentowicz, Carlos Carmona; Julian Gressel (Josef Martinez 63’), Miguel Almiron (Chris McCann 78’), Yamil Asad; Hector Villalba (Kevin Kratz 72’)
Substitutes not used: Mark Bloom, Miles Robinson, Alex Tambakis, Brandon Vazquez
HIGUAIN KEEPS CLIMBING
With his goal in tonight’s match, Federico Higuain has now scored 46 goals in 139 regular-season appearances (134 starts). Through 16 appearances (all starts) in the 2017 MLS regular season, Federico Higuain has scored seven goals and notched five assists. Higuain is behind only Jeff Cunningham (64) and Brian McBride (62) in goals scored for Crew SC.
ON THE VERGE OF 100
Defender Josh Williams made his 99th start and 111th appearance in MLS regular-season action and is now only one start away from reaching 100 MLS starts. This season, Williams has made eight regular-season appearances (six starts) for the Black & Gold.
Crew SC stands 7-3-4 all-time against MLS expansion sides after Saturday night. The Black & Gold have allowed just 15 goals to their 25 scored against expansion teams.
50 - 50
Defender Harrison Afful made his 50th start in 51 regular-season appearances for Crew SC. Afful played 90 minutes, notching an assist and completing 35 passes. Afful’s assist was his first of the 2017 MLS regular season and his sixth career assist for the Black & Gold. Through the 2017 MLS regular season, Afful has made 12 appearances (11 starts) for the Black & Gold.
Goalkeeper Zack Steffen made his 50th save of the season in tonight’s match against Atlanta United FC. He recorded four saves in tonight’s match. Steffen has started in all 17 of the Black & Gold’s regular-season matches in 2017, recording 53 saves.