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  • Crew SC stuns, TFC and Houston earns a big win over Atlanta United.
By Associated Press
March 03, 2018

TORONTO (AP)—Federico Higuain and Gyasi Zardes scored to help Columbus Crew SC beat Toronto FC 2-0 on Saturday, spoiling the defending MLS champion Reds' home opener.

Zack Steffen made two saves for Columbus.

Higuain one-timed Milton Valenzuela's cross past diving goaltender Alex Bono in the 44th minute. Bono dove to get his hand on the shot, but couldn't get enough to keep it out. Higuain has 49 goals and 49 assists in 150 career MLS appearances.

Zardes scored a minute into the second half, getting his foot on Pedro Santos's through ball and putting it past Bono. Zardes joined the Crew in an offseason deal with the L.A. Galaxy.

Toronto lost just one regular-season game last year at BMO Field.

Houston 4, Atlanta 0

HOUSTON (AP)—Andrew Wenger opened the scoring with a tap-in in the fifth minute and the Houston Dynamo routed Atlanta United 4-0 in the season opener for both teams Saturday.

Alberth Elis outraced a defender to chase down Philippe Senderos' long ball and sent a low cross to Wenger.

Senderos scored on a header in the 23rd minute, and Mauro Manotas cleaned up a loose ball to make it 3-0 four minutes later.

Darwin Ceren made it 4-0 in the fifth minute of first-half stoppage time, volleying home goalkeeper Brad Guzan's failed attempt to punch away a corner. Ceren made his Dynamo debut, entering as a substitute after Juan Cabezas was injured in the 15th minute.

Philadelphia 2, New England 0

CHESTER, Pa. (AP)—Anthony Fontana and C.J Sapong scored and the Philadelphia Union beat 10-man New England 2-0 on Saturday night in the opener for both teams, spoiling Brad Friedel's Revolution coaching debut.

Fontana opened the scoring in the 43rd minute with a quick-reacting, left-footed stab to finish Sapong's redirection of Alejandro Bedoya's low cross. Fontana, an 18-year-old Union Academy graduate and Homegrown Player signing, was making his MLS debut.

Sapong flicked in Cory Burke's cross in the 69th minute to make it 2-0.

Antonio Mlinar Delamea was shown a red card in the 24th minute for a takedown from behind of Sapong near the top of the penalty arc.

Orlando 1, D.C. 1

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP)—Stefano Pincho tied it in the 93rd minute and 10-man Orlando City salvaged a 1-1 draw with D.C. United on Saturday night in the season opener for both teams.

Justin Meram sent a ball forward into the area and Jonathan Spector crossed it to Pincho for a close-range finish.

Yamil Asad scored on a free kick in the 32nd minute. His service from the left flank went through everybody, including goalkeeper Joe Bendik, to find the net.

Victor Giro was shown the red card in the 41st minute due to extending his arm during an aerial challenge of Asad. Referee Fotis Bazakos used video review to cancel his initial decision of a yellow card.

D.C. was granted a penalty for a handball in the area in the 16th minute. But Bendik deflected Darren Mattocks' offering onto the post.

United begin the season with a road-heavy schedule while waiting for the opening of Audi Field in July.

Salt Lake 1, Dallas 1

FRISCO, Texas (AP)—Real Salt Lake's Marcelo Silva scored an own goal in the 86th minute and FC Dallas escaped the season opener with a 1-1 draw Saturday night.

Maximiliano Urruti dribbled in from the right corner of the 18-yard box and fired a low hard cross that Silva deflected it into the top of the net.

Joao Plata opened the scoring for Real Salt Lake in the 25th minute. His cutback caused defender Reggie Cannon to overrun the pursuit and he finished with a drive into the far corner.

San Jose 3, Minnesota 2

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP)—Danny Hoesen scored twice, Valeri Qazaishvili had a goal and two assists and the San Jose Earthquakes beat Minnesota United 3-2 in the season opener for both teams Saturday night.

Kevin Molino pulled the Loons to 3-1 in the 81st minute, slotting the finish through the legs of defender Harold Cummings. Four minutes later, Molino closed the deficit to one with a bending right-footed shot from the 5 yards behind the top of the arc.

Minnesota pressed forward for a late equalizer, but the Quakes held them off during an edgy final 10 minutes.

Hoesen scored the opening goal in the 27th minute, finishing Qazaishvili's feed with a right-footed shot from middle of the penalty arc. In the next minute, San Jose made it 2-0 with Chris Wondoloski forcing a turnover deep in Minnesota territory and sending a wide cross to Qazaishvili for the tap-in.

Hoesen connected with Qazaishvili for a give-and-go in the 59th - Hoesen's heavy first touch on the return pass freed him for a narrow-angle finish from the right side of the area.

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