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Columbus Crew knocks off Cruz Azul to win Campeones Cup

Joe Prince-Wright and Nicholas Mendola break down the USMNT roster for the World Cup qualifiers and explain why this upcoming stretch is almost do-or-die for the Americans.

The underdog role was not a problem for the Columbus Crew in the 2021 Campeones Cup between the champions of Liga MX and Major League Soccer.

Jonathan Mensah scored to join a Cruz Azul own goal on the score sheet as Columbus gave MLS two of three Campeones Cup titles and back-to-back triumphs with a 2-0 win on Wednesday in Ohio.

Caleb Porter’s men soaked up pressure and delivered both of their goals off of set pieces, as Cruz Azul had 74 percent of the ball and a 16-5 advantage in shots.

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That meant some scrappy moments from the defense and keeper Evan Bush, who knows his team hung tough.

“It was a great night for us,” said goalkeeper Evan Bush, via’s Charles Boehm. “Cruz Azul’s a fantastic team, obviously, the champions of Mexico and it’s a really great league; we have a lot of respect for that league. But we’re building something here in Columbus, in this stadium, and it’s something that we’re proud of.

“To cap it off tonight with the clean sheet and the trophy against one of the top teams in North America, we feel good about ourselves and we’ll enjoy tonight, absolutely. And then we’ll get back to work tomorrow.”

Both Columbus and Cruz Azul have not been at their best in league play this season, and the Crew may use this trophy to boost itself back into the MLS Cup Playoffs.

Follow @NicholasMendola