After a thrilling 2-2 draw in their first match a few weeks ago, there is no doubt which Ohio team reigned supreme in the second MLS installment of the Hell is Real Derby.
Helluva result. pic.twitter.com/BECcnfZ8H6— Columbus Crew SC (@ColumbusCrewSC) August 26, 2019
Zardes opened the scoring in the 22nd minute, a composed finish following a lovely early cross from Luis Diaz. The sequence started with Zardes holding up a lofted pass from goalkeeper Eloy Room, that he laid off to Pedro Santos at midfield before making his run forward.
The American international got his second of the day 11 minutes later, this time on the end of an inch-perfect cross from Harrison Afful. The fullback's pass just over the Cincy defense bent straight to Zardes, who again delivered a composed finish when left one on one with Przemyslaw Tyton.
Diaz found the back of the net before halftime, as the Young Designated Player scored from a tight angle after a direct run behind. It was the Costa Rican's first goal with his new club, arriving this summer.
Kekuta Manneh scored a consolation for Cincy in the 89th minute. With it being a derby, it's no surprise that the two sides combined for nine yellow cards.
- 22' - CLB - Gyasi Zardes | WATCH
- 33' - CLB - Gyasi Zardes | WATCH
- 45+1' - CLB - Luis Diaz | WATCH
- 89' - CIN - Kekuta Manneh | WATCH
- THE BIG PICTURE: With both teams far below from the playoff line, this fixture was the biggest remaining in 2019 for each. The win is a big boost for the Crew, who suddenly have just one loss in their last eight matches.
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: Which is better: Diaz's assist or Zardes' finish?
- MAN OF THE MATCH: Two goals and solid hold up play, it was a great game for Zardes. The brace gives the striker his third double-digit scoring season in his MLS career.