Zelarayan doubles as Columbus beat Seattle Three-Zero and wins the MLS Cup


© Reuters. MLS: Cup Final – Seattle Sounders FC v Columbus Crew SC


(Reuters) – Argentine midfielder Lucas Zelarayan scored in both halves to help Columbus Crew seal their second MLS Cup title with a 3-0 win over defending champions Seattle Sounders on Saturday at Mapfre Stadium.

The 1,500 fans in attendance saw a breathtaking display of the hosts' attacking football, who took the lead in the 25th minute when Seattle goalkeeper Stefan Frei failed to parry Zelarayan's sweetly struck volley.

Zelarayan was a second supplier, brought the ball to the edge of the box and found Derrick Etienne Jr., who triggered a curling attempt past Frei into the farthest corner.

Seattle had made a spectacular comeback of two goals in the Western Conference final against Minnesota, but there were no similar exploits on Saturday when Zelarayan scored his second goal in the 82nd minute after a decent winger from Luis Diaz.

Caleb Porter's team had not conceded a goal in the final 210 minutes of playoff action in the final and again prevailed against a late attack in Seattle to become the seventh team to win several MLS trophies after their triumph in 2008.

"I'm overjoyed. We wanted to do this from day one and we finally did it," said Columbus midfielder Gyasi Zardes.

Defender Jonathan Mensah dedicated the win to home fans, saying: "A big thank you to our fans. We are very grateful for their support and love."

Seattle couldn't add to its 2016 and 2019 championships, but coach Brian Schmetzer said he's proud of his team's efforts this season.

"I just want to congratulate Caleb and Columbus. That was a very good performance," said Schmetzer. "I'm very proud of the season, not the last game, but the season my squad put together.

"You worked hard. You fought to the end, but you came up short tonight. In the long run, I think this franchise is sure to be followed by great success and we hope we can continue that."

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