In the thrilling showdown of the Audi 2023 MLS Cup playoffs conference semifinals, the Columbus Crew stood out by overcoming Orlando City SC 2-0 in extra time, securing their well-deserved spot in the highly coveted final.
The match was filled with intense moments and twists, with the decisive goal coming from Christian Ramírez at the 93rd minute, sparking fervent celebrations among the Crew’s fans. Cucho Hernández’s brilliant performance, sealing the victory with an empty-net goal from midfield, highlighted the determination and skill of this talented team.
The initially balanced clash between the 2nd-placed Columbus Crew and 3rd-placed Orlando City SC took a dramatic turn at the 77th minute. Orlando’s player, Rodrigo Schlegel, was expelled after receiving the second yellow card for a foul on Diego Rossi, leaving his team with one player less until the final whistle. Undoubtedly, this situation played a crucial role in the outcome of the match.
The Columbus Crew capitalized on the numerical advantage, with Ramírez taking center stage and goalkeeper Patrick Schulte making impressive saves in the final moments. At the 118th minute, Orlando City’s goalkeeper, Pedro Gallese, risked it all in pursuit of a late equalizer, allowing Hernández to close the series with a spectacular goal.
Now, the Columbus Crew eagerly awaits to discover their opponent in the MLS Cup final, a decision that will be determined in the clash between FC Cincinnati and Philadelphia Union. With a remarkable performance and a resilient mindset, the Columbus Crew emerges not just as a finalist but as a determined team poised to make its mark in the history of this MLS Cup season.