MLS Snapshot: Crew stun Atlanta United in thrilling PK shootout

Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

The game in 100 words (or less):  It was one of the most entertaining matches imaginable for a game that finished 0-0 heading into extra time. The Columbus Crew — who finished the regular season unbeaten in their last 10 matches — gave Atlanta all they could handle on Thursday night at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, and took a crucial win back to Ohio. Crew goalkeeper Zack Steffen’s eight saves throughout the match stole the show, and frustrated the home side — who managed 23 shots during the 90 minutes. The Crew will now advance to face New York City FC in the Eastern Conference semifinals.

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Three four moments that mattered

11′ — Almiron’s curler rocks the cross bar — Crew keeper Zack Steffen has been really good throughout the season, and the young USMNT shot-stopper looked to get the tiniest touch to keep the Paraguayan off the scoresheet.

Here’s a second angle just to show you how good Steffen’s save was…

40′ — Crew denied opener after egregious offside decision — The Crew were very unfortunate not to be awarded a goal just before halftime. Why do we have VAR again?

69′ — Woodwork keeps match scoreless — Kekuta Manneh had himself a strong match after being introduced in the second stanza, but the former Whitecaps attacker will have nightmares following this attempt off the bar. Pedro Santos’ follow up will probably keep him up at night too.

117′ — Cool, calm, collected Parkhurst — That’s just amazing defending by Michael Parkhurst. The Crew were halfway back to Columbus because that was surely going to be the winner.

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Man of the match: Zack Steffen

Goalscorers: N/A in regulation… Crew PKs — Federico Higuain, Niko Hansen, Adam Jahn… Atlanta PKs — Hector Villalba