MLS playoff record crowd watches Atlanta fall to Crew on penalties

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Another record crowd showed up in Atlanta for Thursday's playoff match, but Zack Steffen's heroics led the visitors to a dramatic victory

The MLS playoff record crowd of 67,221 got to see a little extra soccer Thursday night as Atlanta United and the Columbus Crew played to a thrilling draw through 120 minutes before Zack Steffen led the visitors to a 3-1 win on penalties. 

There were plenty of chances during regulation but the goalkeepers, one questionable offside call and the woodwork all combined to keep the match at 0-0. 

After 30 minutes of extra time produced even more chances, with Atlanta defender Michael Parkhurst coming up with a massive clearance off the goal line in the final minutes, the match was decided from the spot. 

Steffen, who was outstanding throughout the match, opened the shootout with an athletic save on Julian Gressel. After Federico Higuain scored for Columbus with a Panenka, Steffen followed up with a second straight stop to give the visiting side a lead it would never relinquish.

Brad Guzan made a save of his own to try and keep the home side in it, but when Atlanta's fourth shooter, Jeff Larentowicz, hit the post it was all but over for the expansion side. 

Adam Jahn smashed home the Crew's fourth spot kick, handing the club a 3-1 win on penalties and setting up a showdown with New York City FC in the Eastern Conference semifinals.

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