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Fan reactions: Crew vs. New York Red Bulls

The celebrations of the continued for Black & Gold fans.

Columbus Crew SC v New York Red Bulls - MLS Is Back Tournament Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

Columbus Crew SC qualified for the knockout stages of the MLS is Back Tournament with a solid 2-0 win against the New York Red Bulls on Thursday night. While it got a little hairy towards the end, there was plenty for Black & Gold supporters to celebrate as the Crew continued to fire on all cylinders.

Once again, Columbus featured in the nightcap match, but fans seemed slightly more awake for this one. They were pumped up and ready to watch their team.

Forward Gyasi Zardes opened the scoring in the 20th minute thanks to a perfect pass from winger Pedro Santos, who returned after not being in the squad in the last match. This was Zardes’ third goal of the tournament and fans were excited by both the goal and the partnership between Zardes and Santos.

In what many saw as a surprise, Homegrown midfielder Sebastian Berhalter was given his first start for the club. He performed admirably and recorded the most touches out of any player on the field in the first half. This was made even more special as Sebastian’s father, former Crew head coach and United State Men’s National Team manager Gregg Berhalter, was there to watch the game.

The real key to breaking down New York’s trademark press in this game was one Darlington Nagbe. Fans were quick to heap praise on the midfielder for his outstanding performance.

A few minutes into the second half, playmaker Lucas Zelarayan scored from outside the penalty box off of a pass from Derrick Etienne. Fans are confident that Zelarayan is proving himself to be the real deal.

The end of the game almost got out of hand as the Crew ran out of substitutes and players started going down, most notably goalkeeper Eloy Room. While he ultimately toughed out the nine-plus minutes of added time, fans started speculating who might have to become the emergency keeper.

As the game drew to a close, fans also made sure to praise club captain Jonathan Mensah for his stellar performance in defense.

With this win, Columbus is the third team to reach the knockout stages of the tournament, with a game to spare. And so, the Crew hype train continues on.

On that note, I leave you with two gifts. First, this most cursed of images.

And finally, as you celebrate the Crew’s victory, consider celebrating one of the club’s greatest supporters on his 100th birthday. Stay Massive.