2021 Major League Soccer, Regular Season
  • Jonathan Mensah (65')

Columbus Crew edge Atlanta United to extend unbeaten streak

Mensah's header gives Crew the win (0:50)

Jonathan Mensah opens the scoring for Columbus with a header vs. Atlanta United. (0:50)

Jonathan Mensah scored in the 65th minute and goalkeeper Eloy Room made five saves as the Columbus Crew extended their unbeaten streak to six games with a 1-0 victory over host Atlanta United FC on Saturday.

The Crew (6-3-6, 24 points) is 2-0-4 since a loss at Philadelphia on June 23, while Room has back-to-back shutouts to give him five for the season.

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Atlanta (2-5-8, 14 points) is winless over its last 10 games (3-0-7) following a victory over CF Montreal on May 15.

Mensah scored his first goal of the season after the Crew took advantage of a corner kick by Lucas Zelarayan that was flicked at the left post by Marlon Hairston. Mensah was at the right post for the header.

Zelarayan, who leads the Crew with five goals, did not start but entered in the 46th minute. He was nursing a tight hamstring and playing for the third time in eight days.

Room kept Atlanta off the board in the 36th minute by coming off the line to deny Erik Lopez, who snuck down the right flank for an open look.

In the 42nd minute, Lopez had a straight-on shot from the top of the penalty area that Room saved.

It was Room again in the 58th minute with a stretching save at the right post on a bending strike from Marcelino Moreno.

It was the first home game for Atlanta United interim coach Rob Valentino following the firing of first-year coach Gabriel Heinze on July 18. Atlanta had a 1-1 tie at FC Cincinnati on Wednesday.

The game was played before a capacity crowd of more than 67,000 in Mercedes-Benz Stadium for the first time since pre-COVID-19 in March 2020.

Atlanta striker Josef Martinez started for the first time since playing 90 minutes on May 29. He joined Venezuela for Copa America, then tested positive for COVID-19.

When he was healthy again his relationship with Heinze deteriorated and he did not start Heinze's last match in charge.