The Columbus Crew defeated the New England Revolution on Sunday to advance to the 2020 MLS Cup final. Photo courtesy of MLS/Columbus Crew
Dec. 7 (UPI) -- Brazilian midfielder Artur scored in the 59th minute of the 2020 MLS Cup Eastern Conference final to lead the Columbus Crew over the New England Revolution and into the title game for the third time in franchise history.
The Crew face the Seattle Sounders or Minnesota United in the MLS Cup final at 8 p.m. EST on Saturday after the 1-0 win on Sunday in Columbus, Ohio.
"The job is not done," Crew manager Caleb Porter told reporters. "When we started this tournament, we wanted to make four steps. We have made three of the four.
"I know the guys in that locker room are really happy to put the Eastern Conference championship trophy in the trophy case. That's what it is about, but there's a much bigger trophy, the MLS Cup trophy, that we have our eye on."
Columbus and New England played a scoreless first half before Artur broke the deadlock 14 minutes into the second frame.
Crew fullback Jonathan brought down a cross in the right side of the box to set up the game's lone goal. The defender used his right foot to slap a first-touch pass to his left and found Artur as he ran into the box.
The Crew midfielder then used his left boot to knock a first-touch shot just to the left or the right goal post to beat Revolution keeper Matt Turner as he dove to his left.
Turner had six saves in the loss. Crew keeper Andrew Tarbell had four saves en route to his clean sheet.
"It has been a challenging year for everybody, not just soccer players, but we stuck together. I'm definitely going to remember the good times," Turner said. "I thought we didn't put our best foot forward [on Sunday].
"It hurts to lose when you are so close to winning a championship."
The Sounders battle Minnesota United in the Western Conference Final at 9:30 p.m. EST on Monday in Seattle. The Crew face the winner of that game as they attempt to win their second MLS title. Columbus last won the MLS Cup in 2008 before a loss to the Portland Timbers in the 2015 title game.