It was the Lucas Zelarayan+Pedro Santos connection on Wednesday night at MAPFRE Stadium, as the two each recorded a goal and an assist in a 2-1 Columbus Crew (9-1-3, 30 pts.) win over Minnesota United FC (5-5-3, 18 pts.) to secure another three points for the Supporters' Shield-leading Black & Gold.
It was Santos providing for Zelarayan first, as the Argentine connected perfectly on an open header in the 31st minute.
In seven starts with Columbus, Zelarayan has already recorded five goals and four assists for the Black & Gold, and notably is one of only eight players this season with a minimum of five goals to have scored with his left foot, right foot, and head.
Interestingly enough, Wednesday's tally marked his first headed goal in all of his professional career.
The Crew took a 1-0 lead into halftime and soon secured a Major League Soccer record for home shutout minutes streak to start a season, as Columbus eventually went 538 consecutive minutes without conceding a goal at MAPFRE Stadium.
502 - As of the 52nd minute vs @MNUFC, @ColumbusCrewSC have gone 502 minutes without conceding at home this season, the longest run to start a season without allowing a goal at home in @MLS history. Impenetrable. pic.twitter.com/tRWPinN0FA— OptaJack⚽️ (@OptaJack) September 24, 2020
Still a one-goal game through 69 minutes, Santos eased any concern and made it Dos a Cero with a top-shelf rip from the tightest of angles in the 70th minute, marking his third goal of the season in addition to already tallying his sixth assist on the year.
Trending up as the Crew head into the home stretch of the regular-season, Santos has scored a goal or recorded an assist in each of the last five games.
With 30 points on the year, Columbus stands five points clear of second-place Orlando, Toronto, and Philadelphia in the Eastern Conference.
Up next, the Crew travels to East Hartford, Conn. for a neutral-site "road match" against Toronto FC on Sunday, Sept. 27 at 7:30 p.m. ET.
By Crew SC Communications
- Midfielder Pedro Santos provided an assist and scored the game-winning goal in tonight’s 2-1 victory over Minnesota United FC. The midfielder’s helper came in the 31st minute, when he set up Lucas Zelarayan, who scored with a header inside the box. Santos’ strike came in the 70th minute of tonight’s contest, when he received a pass from Lucas Zelarayan, which he fired into the near post. In 2020, Santos has made 12 regular-season appearances (all starts), registering three goals and a team-leading six assists.
- Midfielder Lucas Zelarayan scored a goal and provided the game-winning assist in tonight’s home match against Minnesota United FC. The Argentine’s goal came in the 31st minute, when he headed in a ball from Pedro Santos. Zelarayan returned the favor in the 70th minute, providing the helper in Santos’ game-winning goal. In 2020, Zelarayan has made nine regular-season appearances (seven starts) scoring five goals and providing four assists.
- Midfielder Artur made his 99th MLS regular season appearance in tonight’s home match against Minnesota United FC, and will make his 100th regular-season appearance in his next match played. Of his 99 appearances, the midfielder has made 90 total starts since joining Crew SC in 2017.
- With the 2-1 victory over Minnesota United FC tonight, Head Coach Caleb Porter tallied his 99th professional victory across all domestic competitions.
- Crew SC is undefeated in its last 11 regular-season matches at MAPFRE Stadium, with a record of 8-0-3. The streak dates back to a 2-1 victory last year over the Montreal Impact (July 20). Additionally, the Crew has won all of five of its regular-season matches at MAPFRE Stadium this year, posting a record of 6-0-0. In addition to its 11-match undefeated streak at home, the Black & Gold have only lost three matches - home or away - in their last 26 regular-season contests. This streak began with a 2-2 draw on the road last year against Chicago Fire FC (July 17), with the Crew posting a winning record of 14-3-9 over that span.
- Per Opta, Crew SC set an MLS record for most minutes without conceding a goal at home to start a season. The Crew went 538 consecutive minutes without conceding a goal at home, with the streak lasting from Opening Match (March 1) against New York City FC (March 1) until the 88th minute of tonight’s match.
- Up next for Crew SC, the team travels to Hartford, Connecticut to face Toronto FC on Sunday, September 27 [7:30 p.m. ET / FOX Sports Ohio, FOX Sports GO App / 97.1 The Fan & 971TheFan.com (English), ColumbusCrewSC.com (Spanish)].