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Match Recap: Loons Season Ends in Familiar Fashion

by on 28 October 2018

A brace from captain Francisco Calvo was not enough for the Loons to earn a point on the road. Gyasi Zardes scored his first MLS hattrick to launch the Crew past Minnesota and into the playoffs.


Minnesota made one change in the starting lineup with Colin Martin replacing Collen Warner in the midfield. The backline in front of Matt Lampson remained the same with Eric Miller, Michael Boxall, Brent Kallman, and Francisco Calvo taking their spots. Martin joined Fernando Bob in the midfield. Miguel Ibarra and Rasmus Schüller were on the wings surrounding Darwin Quintero and Ángelo Rodríguez.

First half

Ten minutes into the first half the game was delayed due to lightning in the area. Two minutes after the restart following the weather delay Gyasi Zardes scored his first of the night. Columbus surprised the Loons by playing a short corner. The resulting cross found Zardes in a crowd of Loons. The striker made no mistake in putting the Crew up early.

The game continued with Columbus holding the lion’s share of possession and creating the majority of the chances but, fortunately for Minnesota, could not make their possession of chances count. Near halftime, a scary collision in the box between Rodríguez and Columbus goalkeeper Zach Steffen stopped play as both players were attended to by the physios.

Steffen would continue the match, however, Rodríguez would make way for Abu Danladi. Halftime came soon after thankfully for the Loons, as the first half was not good for Minnesota. The team could barely get a touch in the attacking third and a defensive mistake by Boxall allowed Zardes to score easily.

At halftime, it was learned that Montreal Impact had lost its match to New England, meaning that the Crew no longer had to win to secure their playoff birth.

Second half

Three minutes into the second half, Zardes doubled his tally and extended Columbus’s lead to two. Lampson bobbled a bouncing free kick from Federico Higuain, Zardes was quickest to react and scored his second of the night. With the goal, Minnesota had tied its goals allowed record from its inaugural season. Shortly after the second goal, Kallman went down with an injury and the Woodbury native made way for rookie Wyatt Omsberg.

In the 67th minute, Quintero took a free kick from near midfield. The cross found Calvo at the near post. The Costa Rican international expertly trapped the ball with his chest and spectacularly volleyed home.

About ten minutes after Calvo cut the deficit in half, he leveled the match with his second goal of the game. A cross from Martin squeezed through Harrison Afful and Calvo pounced on the defensive mistake. Calvo then poked home around Steffen.

In the 83rd minute, Minnesota’s comeback bid was denied. Nico Hansen was played in behind the defense and a low cross found a streaking Zardes. For the third time of the night, Zardes found the back of the net.

With the final whistle the Loons’ 2018 season ended not only the way it began, but also the way last season ended, with a 3-2 loss.

Scoring summary

11′ GOAL – CLB – Gyasi Zardes (Assisted by Milton Valenzuela)

49′ GOAL – CLB – Gyasi Zardes

68′ GOAL – MIN – Francisco Calvo (Assisted by Darwin Quintero)

77′ GOAL – MIN – Francisco Calvo

83′ GOAL – CLB – Gyasi Zardes (Assisted by Nico Hansen)

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