Columbus Crew came back from a 2-0 deficit to topple FC Cincinnati in extra time 3-2, claiming the crown in the Eastern Conference and a spot in MLS Cup final.
The Crew showed great perseverance and resilience to come back from a two-goal deficit, as substitute Christian Ramirez found the back of the net in the 115th minute to score his second goal off the bench in as many games and propel his team to victory.
This wasn’t the first time Columbus were forced to dig deep to pull out a win in the 2023 playoffs, though. In the first round, they battled in a three game series with Atlanta United before going to extra time with Orlando City one week ago. One thing is for sure, Wilfried Nancy’s side won’t give up, no matter the score or circumstances.
“I’m really proud of that. Playing the way we play, we’re going to play,” Nancy said.
“Again, I’m happy with that, for sure because this is not easy. This is complex sometimes. The way we want to play, we have to be brave and courageous. The resilience for me is really important the way we want to play because we’re going to take risks because going to try things, and if we don’t have this mindset, it’s going to be difficult. Tonight, we did it so really happy.”
With everything at stake in the game, Nancy revealed that giving up wasn’t an option for his team even though they were down 2-0 to the 2023 Supporters’ Shield winners at the break.
“To be calm, to be patient and to trust the process because we had many opportunities in the first half to score. We conceded these two goals, but I had the feeling that we were close to score. At the same time, we needed to raise the intensity physically and mentally, but we needed also to be cold. We showed them two clips,” he said.
“We adjusted also tactically two or three positions. I told them with the staff that, ‘Guys, this is a new game. If we score one goal, we might have the possibility to score again.’ This is what I said.”
So far, Nancy’s first year with the Black and Gold couldn’t have gone any better. A third place finish in the Eastern Conference while brining in Diego Rossi after the departure of Lucas Zelarayan was nothing short of impressive, and to top it all off, the former CF Montreal boss is just 90 minutes away from bringing home another MLS Cup title to Lower.com Field.
“A dream come true? Not yet because we still have a game to play.”
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