Columbus defeats New England to reach MLS Cup final

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Artur’s goal in the second half sent the Crew past the Revolution in the Eastern Conference final on Sunday.

The Columbus Crew reached the MLS Cup for the third time in club history after a 1-0 win over the New England Revolution on Sunday.

Artur’s goal in the 59th minute was enough for Columbus to win the Eastern Conference final at Mapfre Stadium, advancing to the MLS Cup for the first time since 2015.

It was the first time Columbus had won an MLS Cup playoff game over New England, and it came on his eighth try.

The Crew had the best of chances at all times and struck just before the hour, with Gyasi Zardes having been denied by New England goalkeeper Matt Turner moments before the opener.

A Lucas Zelarayan cross from the left found Jonathan Mensah at the back post and the defender touched a pass in the way of Artur, who found the bottom corner with a first shot.

Artur’s four MLS goals have been scored at Mapfre Stadium, including three in his last six home appearances.

Zelarayan crashed an effort into the post from 25 yards in the 62nd minute, but Artur’s goal proved enough to crown Columbus’s Eastern Conference champions.

Columbus has won 13 of its last 14 MLS home games and will host the Seattle Sounders or Minnesota United in the decider on December 12.

The Sounders and Minnesota United will meet in the Western Conference championship on Monday night in Seattle, with the home team seeking its fourth MLS Cup and Minnesota seeking its first appearance in the league final.

Team boss Caleb Porter became the fifth coach in MLS history to win the Eastern and Western Conference championships, joining Bruce Arena, Dominic Kinnear, Jason Kreis and Sigi Schmid.

Porter won the Western Conference championship with the Portland Timbers in 2015. Ironically, he would later defeat Columbus in the MLS Cup final to claim his first championship and that of the club.

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