After a slow start to the night at MAPFRE Stadium, Columbus Crew SC (7-1-2, 23 pts) scored three goals in 20 minutes to beat FC Cincinnati (2-5-3, 9 pts.) 3-0 and win the third derby of 2020 on Sept. 6.
The 3-0 win marked the third time in four matches in which Crew SC scored at least three goals vs. Cincinnati, while the shutout also marked the third of the season against the in-state rival.
Both sides got off to a slow start and after going into halftime scoreless, it 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.
On the night, Room faced exactly ZERO shots on goal as the Crew continued its stellar defensive run with eight shutouts in 10 games, tied for the most in League history through the first 10 matches (2010 - LA Galaxy). Overall, Room has been nearly unstoppable in 2020 as he currently sports a shutout streak of 461 consecutive minutes.
In the 52nd minute, Columbus finally broke through and got on the scoreboard when Luis Díaz brought the ball up the right side and crossed it into the middle of the box. Darlington Nagbe let it go through to Pedro Santos, who put it past FC Cincinnati goalkeeper Przemyslaw Tyton.
Twelve minutes later, new father 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 - his third career brace vs. FCC - while helping his side increase its MLS Supporters' Shield points lead to five.
On the day, Columbus totaled 18 shots, including six on target, to go with a 6-1 edge in corners taken and a 59-percent advantage in possession.
By Crew SC Communications
Gyasi Zardes registered a brace in tonight’s 3-0 home match win over FC Cincinnati, scoring Crew SC’s third and fourth goal of the evening. After coming into the match as a substitute in the 62nd minute, Zardes netted twice in eight minutes – first in the 64th minute and again in the 71st – to bring his all-time regular-season goal total against FC Cincinnati to seven goals in five matches. Additionally, this was the third time Zardes registered a brace against FCC, as he had previously recorded a brace against Cincinnati on August 25 of last year and on July 11 of this year. With his goals in tonight’s match, Zardes is now in second place in the MLS Golden Boot standings with seven goals, behind only Los Angeles FC’s Diego Rossi (nine goals).
Goalkeeper Eloy Room registered his sixth shutout of the 2020 regular season in tonight’s match against FC Cincinnati. Room had previously registered clean sheets again New York City FC (March 1), FC Cincinnati (July 11, August 29), the New York Red Bulls (July 16) and the Philadelphia Union (September 2). With his shutout in tonight’s match, Room moved past FC Cincinnati’s Przemysław Tyton to become the 2020 MLS regular-season leader in shutouts.
Midfielder Pedro Santos scored his first goal of the 2020 season with his 52nd minute strike in tonight’s match. In addition to his goal, Santos also provided the assist on Gyasi Zardes’ 62nd-minute goal, marking his fourth helper of the season. Since joining Crew SC midway through the 2017 MLS season, Santos has made 81 regular-season appearances (76 starts), scoring 13 goals and providing 19 assists.
Midfielder Luis Diaz registered his second assist of the season in tonight’s match, as he provided the helper on Pedro Santos’ opening goal. Diaz’s assist came in the 52nd minute, as he crossed the ball into the box, allowing Santos to make it 1-0 for Crew SC. Since joining Crew SC midway through the 2019 season, Diaz has made 21 regular-season appearances (15 starts), scoring two goals and providing six assists.
With its 3-0 victory over FC Cincinnati in tonight’s match, Crew SC continued their undefeated streak against FC Cincinnati, dating back FCC’s entry into MLS last season. The Black & Gold have an all-time regular-season record of 3-0-2 against FC Cincinnati, outscoring FCC 12-3. Notably, the Crew has now recorded scored three or more goals against FC Cincinnati on three of those occasions.
Crew SC has now gone undefeated at each of its last nine matches at MAPFRE Stadium, dating back to a 2-1 victory over the Montreal Impact on July 20 of last year. Over that span, Crew SC has posted a record of 5-0-4.
Up next for Crew SC, the team travels to face Chicago Fire FC at Soldier Field on Saturday, September 12 in a nationally televised match [3:30 p.m. ET / Univision, TUDN / 97.1 The Fan & 971TheFan.com (English), ColumbusCrewSC.com (Spanish)].