MLS: Diego Rossi scores twice as Crew blank Orlando City

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Diego Rossi’s brace led the Columbus Crew to a 2-0 victory over host Orlando City on Saturday for their third straight victory, all on the road.

Rossi, with goals in the first minute of first-half stoppage time and the 61st minute, became the first Crew player to score in three consecutive road matches in a single season since Gyasi Zardes in 2019.

The Crew (6-2-6, 24 points) have won three consecutive road matches for the first time since 2015.

Orlando (4-6-4, 16 points) saw its three-match unbeaten streak (2-0-1) come to an end.

Rossi gave the Crew the lead on a penalty kick after a bizarre sequence.

Orlando City appeared headed to a possible lead in the 45th minute when Crew defender Steven Moreira fouled Luis Muriel in the penalty area. Before the Lions could take the PK, referee Jair Marrufo was summoned to the replay monitor by video assistant referee Jorge Gonzalez to look at a foul by Orlando’s Cesar Araujo on Aidan Morris in the Crew attacking box about two minutes earlier.

Araujo clearly grabbed Morris by the collar. The Crew midfielder went down and Marrufo made amends for missing the call live by awarding the Crew a penalty, which nullified Orlando’s.

Rossi then converted a penalty. It was the Crew’s only shot of the half.

He made it 2-0 with a short chip over onrushing goalkeeper Pedro Gallese after a setup by Yaw Yeboah.

Patrick Schulte then stepped up for the Crew with back-to-back saves on a Nicolas Lodeiro volley and a wicked straight-on strike by Wilder Cartagena in the 65th minute.

Schulte also had to stop a point-blank attempt by Ramiro Enrique eight minutes later.

He made five saves.

This was the first matchup since the Crew defeated the host Lions 2-0 in extra time in a 2023 Eastern Conference semifinal.

Each team was absent their star forward. Orlando was missing Duncan McGuire (shoulder) and the Crew didn’t have Cucho Hernandez (back).

The Crew hope Hernandez, who has missed the past three matches, will be available for the CONCACAF Champions Cup final at Mexico’s CF Pachuca on June 1.

–Field Level Media

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