x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 20 July 2017

Schelotto helps Crew take Bulls by the horns

Argentina's Guillermo Barros Schelotto set up all three Columbus goals as the Crew beat the New York Red Bulls 3-1 to win the MLS Cup Final.

From left, Guillermo Schelotto, Ginos Padula, the Crew captain Frankie Hejduk and the coach Sigi Schmid celebrate.
From left, Guillermo Schelotto, Ginos Padula, the Crew captain Frankie Hejduk and the coach Sigi Schmid celebrate.

LOS ANGELES // Argentina's Guillermo Barros Schelotto set up all three Columbus goals as the Crew beat the New York Red Bulls 3-1 to win the MLS Cup Final. Alejandro Moreno scored in the first half for Columbus and, after New York tied the scores at 1-1 early in the second, Chad Marshall and Frankie Hejduk added goals for the Crew.

Both teams were original members of Major League Soccer when it began in 1996, and both were playing in the league championship game for the first time. "It's a very emotional moment for me, winning this game here in LA in front of family and friends. And, to be quite honest, the town that I was fired in," said the Columbus coach Sigi Schmid. The German-born Schmid won the MLS Cup in 2002 as coach of the Los Angeles Galaxy, who fired him in 2004.

The Crew opened the scoring in the 31st minute after Schelotto stole the ball from the Dutch winger Dave van den Bergh and tapped it up the right sideline to Moreno. The Venezuelan forward evaded Diego Jimenez and rolled the ball into the net just inside the left post. "He [Schelotto] has such great instincts," Schmid said. "The ball was going out of bounds. He's got the presence to know to react to the play quickly. It's those decisive moments that turn games."

John Wolyniec's goal in the 51st minute gave the Red Bulls the equaliser, but Crew responded with a goal two minutes later by Marshall. Schelotto, who was named league player of the year, curled a corner into the box and Marshall leaped high to head the ball into the net. "The timing of the second goal was disappointing," Wolyniec said. "We were on a high from tying the game." Hejduk sealed the win in the 82nd minute when he headed home Schelotto's lofted pass into the box. "It feels surreal right now," said Hejduk, an MLS original who was celebrating his first league title and one of the great goals of the year.

The New York coach Juan Carlos Osorio thought the Red Bulls outplayed the Crew in the first 45 minutes. "We should have been one up," he said. * Agencies