Columbus start MLS title defence with win over Atlanta

Columbus start MLS title defence with win over Atlanta

© AFP 2022
February 24, 2024 at 9:53 PM
Colombian Cucho Hernandez grabbed the winner as MLS champions Columbus Crew defeated Atlanta United in their opening game of the new Major League Soccer season.
Colombian Cucho Hernandez grabbed the winner as MLS champions Columbus Crew defeated Atlanta United in their opening game of the new Major League Soccer season.. Photo: Emilee Chinn / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA/Getty Images via AFP
Source: AFP

Major League Soccer champions Columbus Crew made a winning start to their title defence with Colombian Cucho Hernandez on target in a 1-0 win over Atlanta United on Saturday.

The new MLS season gets underway in earnest on Saturday after Inter Miami opened the campaign with a 2-0 win over Real Salt Lake on Wednesday.

French coach Wilfried Nancy led the Crew to an MLS Cup triumph over Los Angeles FC in December and has kept his squad largely intact as they seek their third title in five years.

Hernandez fired the Crew ahead in the 27th minute after Diego Rossi got behind the Atlanta defence and fired over a low cross which the striker buried with a right-foot drive.

Columbus had a great chance to double their lead, nine minutes after the interval, when Mohamed Farsi broke into the box and was barged over by Stian Gregersen.

After a lengthy VAR review, the penalty was given only for Hernandez to see his effort superbly saved by veteran former USA goalkeeper Brad Guzan diving to his right.

Columbus had their keeper Patrick Schulte to thanks for maintaining the lead as he foiled Greek striker Giorgos Giakoumakis after he had been found in the box by Xande Silva.

Later on Saturday, Los Angeles FC host Western Conference rivals Seattle Sounders while English manager Dean Smith takes charge of Charlotte for the first time as they host New York City.

Authors
© AFP 2022 photo
© AFP 2022