Jonathan Mensah’s historic early goal and eight saves by Eloy Room helped the Columbus Crew register a rare road victory, 2-1, against Atlanta United on Saturday.
Mensah scored in the first minute and Erik Hurtado in the 45th minute as the Crew (4-5-4, 16 points) won their first road game of the season after two losses and four ties.
Dom Dwyer scored on a bicycle kick in the 91st minute before Room made two saves to preserve the Crew’s second away victory in their past 16 matches (eight losses, six ties), both coming at Atlanta.
The Five Stripes (4-5-4, 16 points) had a 13-game home undefeated streak (8-0-5) snapped.
According to OptaJack, Mensah’s goal was the first in the opening minute of a regular season match by the Crew in their history, a total of 835 games.
Mensah smashed a header off a corner kick by Pedro Santos for his first goal of the season.
The rest of the first half belonged to Atlanta — that is until Hurtado struck for the 2-0 lead.
Atlanta fired five shots on goal in the opening 45 minutes, beginning with Room punching a header by Alan Franco from a Brooks Lennon cross in the 9th minute.
Ten minutes later, Luiz Araujo tested Room at the near post and soon after Room went to the lower left corner to deny a strike by Matheus Rossetto.
Hurtado netted his second goal after taking a long ball from Derrick Etienne Jr. That’s when Hurtado dribbled around defender Alex De John to get the ball on his favored right foot before getting off the shot from the left side of the box.
Five Stripes star Josef Martinez entered to start the second half in his first action since sustaining a right knee injury on April 2. He had three goals in five matches at the time of the injury.
Crew leading scorer Lucas Zelarayan (four goals) did not play because of a thigh injury.
–Field Level Media