After a slow start to the night at MAPFRE Stadium, Columbus Crew SC scored three goals in 20 minutes to beat FC Cincinnati 3-0 and win the third Hell is Real derby of 2020.
Both sides got off to a slow start and going into halftime scoreless felt a bit like the recent 0-0 draw between the two clubs on August 29. Neither team had a shot on goal, but Columbus' stalwart defense blocked four of Cincinnati’s shots before they could even get to goalkeeper Eloy Room.
In the 52nd minute, Columbus finally broke through and got on the scoreboard when Luis Diaz brought the ball up the right side and crossed it in to the middle of the box. Darlington Nagbe let it go through to Pedro Santos, who put it past FC Cincy goalkeeper Przemyslaw Tyton.
Twelve minutes later, Gyasi Zardes added another — two minutes after subbing on — off a great ball into the box from Santos. Zardes wasn't done with just one goal, and bagged a brace while helping his side earn three points against their derby rivals.
- THE BIG PICTURE: The Columbus Crew defense continues to be solid — as they now have have a 301 minute shutout streak — and extended their home unbeaten streak to nine games. FC Cincinnati haven't scored in five games and need to figure out how to put the goal in the back of the net if they want to get above the playoff line.
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: Columbus needed to come out with more intensity in the second half and once Pedro Santos scored in the 52nd minute, the Crew went up by three goals in less than 20 minutes.
- MAN OF THE MATCH: Gyasi Zardes came off the bench and scored a goal two minutes later, then ended the night with a brace. As the best subs do, he boosted his club's energy and momentum for the night while giving the Crew a buffer between second-place Philadelphia Union at the top of the Eastern Conference.
- CLB: Saturday, September 12 at Chicago Fire FC (3:30 pm ET | MLS LIVE on ESPN+, MLS LIVE on DAZN, SportsTime Ohio, WGN-TV)
- CIN: Saturday, September 12 at New York City FC (7 pm ET | MLS LIVE on ESPN+, MLS LIVE on DAZN, Star64, YES)