The Columbus Crew bounced back from last weekend’s loss against Atlanta United, by defeating Minnesota United, 1-0, at TCF Bank Stadium on Tuesday evening.
A 58th-minute goal from Kekuta Manneh was all Gregg Berhalter’s side needed to earn three points.
It was a pretty slow first-half for both sides, who combined for one shot on goal between them in the opening 45+ minutes. Ethan Finlay’s 16th-minute effort forced a good save from Bobby Shuttlesworth, who was the busier of the two keepers.
Christian Ramirez’s left-footed effort after 36 minutes, was the best offensive chance for the Loons in the first-half.
Early in the second-half Ramirez came close again, seeing his 54th-minute header miss to the left. Ibson’s long-range effort two minutes later forced Zack Steffen into his first save on the evening.
The breakthrough came just two minutes later as Kekuta Manneh’s long-range strike beat Shuttlesworth to the bottom left corner. It was the 22-year-old’s second MLS goal of the season and his first since June 24th.
Ola Kamara’s 65th-minute strike from long-range forced another save from Shuttlesworth, who kept the Loons to within one.
As the half went on, the Loons continued to lack the clinical touch in front of goal. Ismalia Jome and Kevin Molino missed chances inside the box which added to Adrian Heath’s frustration.
At the final whistle, the Crew earned their ninth victory of the season, edging the Loons 1-0. Steffen made one save for the visitors, while Shuttlesworth made two for the hosts.
The victory now gives the Crew 28 points on the season, which moves them into fifth place in the Eastern Conference. Minnesota United stay in 10th place in the Western Conference, losing their second match in a row.
Both teams have a lengthy break off due to a bye week next weekend. Minnesota United (5-3-11) will continue their homestand on July 19th, welcoming the Houston Dynamo to town.
The Crew (9-1-10) return home on July 22nd for the first of back-to-back matches against the Philadelphia Union.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Kekuta Manneh earned man of the match honors, scoring the lone goal in Wednesday’s match. The 22-year-old earned his 19th start of the season, and did not let his side down. A rifled effort before the hour mark proved to be the difference between the two sides.
MOMENT OF THE MATCH
Prior to Manneh’s opener, it looked like the Loons would get on the board themselves. Ibson‘s long-range effort minutes prior was the hosts best chance offensively in Wednesday’s match. It also sparked the Crew offensively, as the visitors snatched the lead just minutes later.
MATCH TO FORGET
Loons striker Christian Ramirez created three shots himself, but failed to record any on goal. The 27-year-old U.S. international has 10 goals this season in MLS play, but failed to add to that mark on Wednesday night. For Adrian Heath’s side to have a chance at picking up wins, Ramirez needs to at least create chances towards goal.