Lucas Zelarayan powers Crew over Rapids

Lucas Zelarayan scored and had two assists as the Columbus Crew rallied from an early deficit to defeat the visiting Colorado Rapids 3-2 on Wednesday.

Zelarayan scored the tying goal in the 37th minute after Sam Nicholson gave Colorado the lead in the ninth, then set up goals by Sean Zawadzki (62nd minute) and Cucho Hernandez (72nd).

Cole Bassett scored in the 95th minute for Colorado on the last kick of the game for the final score.

The Crew (6-6-3, 21 points) broke a two-game losing streak with their second win in the past eight games.

Marko Ilic, a 25-year-old Serbian national, made three saves in his MLS debut for the Rapids (2-8-6, 12 points), who have lost five in a row.

Zawadzki, who entered at the start of the second half, headed a corner kick by Zelarayan to make it 2-1. It was redemption for the Crew after allowing two corner kick goals to Nashville SC in a 3-1 loss on Sunday.

Hernandez scored his second goal in his ninth game after a through ball by Zelarayan for the two-goal cushion.

To open the scoring, Nicholson took advantage of another giveaway by Crew rookie Philip Quinton. Columbus first-year coach Wilfried Nancy employs a three-back system but his top three are injured, forcing Quinton into heavy minutes.

Unfortunately for Quinton, he gifted a goal for the third consecutive match, sending a header back toward the goal that Nicholson intercepted to score his first goal of the season.

Zawadzki replaced Quinton at halftime.

Zelarayan tied it 1-1 with his seventh goal of the season, kicking a deft one-touch shot from the middle of the box to the right corner off a pass from Yaw Yeboah before a franchise record fifth consecutive sellout.

By contributing to all three of his team's goals, Zelarayan is the only Columbus player since 2019 to score or assist on all three goals in a match. It was the third time he accomplished the feat.

--Field Level Media