Lucas Zelarayan scored two goals and assisted on another as Columbus Crew SC defeated Seattle Sounders FC 3-0 in the 2020 MLS Cup on Saturday at Mapfre Stadium.
Zelarayan's 25th-minute goal gave the home side a 1-0 advantage, and he assisted on Derrick Etienne's effort six minutes later. He added an 82nd-minute tally to cap the 3-0 victory.
The 28-year-old Argentinian midfielder fired Harrison Afful's cross past Seattle goalie Stefan Frei and into the back of the net for the first goal:
Shortly thereafter, Zelarayan found Etienne, who curled a shot past Frei for Columbus' second:
Columbus entered halftime with a 8-2 shot advantage (3-0 shots on goal) despite Seattle holding possession for 65 percent of the first half. They couldn't have played much better, and ESPN's Taylor Twellman gave a shoutout:
Seattle ramped up the pressure in the second half, outshooting Columbus 11-7 and putting a pair of shots on goal. However, Sounders FC couldn't find the back of the net, and Zelarayan earned the brace off a laser into the upper-left hand corner of the net:
Zelarayan won the MLS Cup MVP for his efforts.
The win marks Columbus' second-ever MLS Cup victory and a particularly sweet one for their fans, who fought to keep the team from moving to Austin, Texas, as former Sports Illustrated journalist Grant Wahl noted:
Columbus Crew SC's first MLS Cup occurred in 2008 after defeating the New York Red Bulls.
Seattle's season ended in disappointment, but the Sounders still has four MLS Cup appearances in five years, including two wins.
They'll also always have their epic Western Conference Final comeback when they overcame a 2-0 deficit in the 75th minute to defeat Minnesota United FC 3-2.
As for next year, MLS plans to return in March and play a full schedule, per MLS deputy commissioner Mark Abbott.