Columbus Hammer Cincinnati in Crushing Victory

Columbus Crew forward Gyasi Zardes (11) in 2019. Photo by David Kirouac/CSM/Shutterstock (10203583p)

In their opening game of Group E in the MLS is Back tournament, heated rivals FC Cincinnati and Columbus Crew went toe to toe in what was expected to be a tight matchup.

While the matches between these two Ohio-based clubs are known to be extremely tense, this fixture happened to be unexpectedly one-sided, with Columbus Crew humiliating FC Cincinnati 4-0.

Lucas Zelarayan put Columbus in the lead in the 27th minute with a stunning free-kick – already praised by some as the goal of the season thus far. Just three minutes later, Gyasi Zardes converted to hand Columbus a 2-0 lead going into the half time break.

Despite getting an opportunity to regroup at half time, Cincinnati’s defense collapsed yet again after just four minutes of second-half action, with Zardes scoring his second goal of the evening. On the hour mark, Youness Mokhtar put his name on the score sheet to close out the scoring.

In the other Group E clash, Atlanta United lost by a narrow scoreline of 1-0 to New York Red Bulls, courtesy of a Florian Valot goal in the 4th minute of play. This means that Columbus Crew currently sit in top spot going into the second round of fixtures.