Cucho Hernandez had a historic goal, Lucas Zelarayan scored for the first time in more than four months and the host Columbus Crew extended their unbeaten streak to eight games with a 2-0 victory against FC Cincinnati on Sunday.
The Crew (7-5-8, 29 points) are 4-0-4 in the past eight games after Hernandez scored in the 16th minute and Zelarayan added a penalty kick in the 86th to break his 12-game goal drought back to March 12.
Cincinnati (7-8-6, 27 points) had a six-game unbeaten streak (1-0-5) snapped.
Hernandez, a 23-year-old Colombian forward who came to Columbus in June from England’s Watford for a club-record $10.5 million transfer fee, made his first start after scoring three times in two appearances off the bench that totaled 73 minutes.
He is the eighth player in MLS history to score in his first three league matches, but according to MLS Communications he is the first to score his first four goals in under 90 minutes of game action.
His header from Zelarayan’s free kick near the left sideline went inside the right post. Zelarayan has five assists in the past three matches.
Zelarayan created the penalty when Obinna Nwobodo was called for a handball on his shot. Zelarayan did a stutter step to score.
Cincinnati had one shot on goal in the first half, and had it been converted, it would have changed the complexion of the match.
Only three minutes in, Brandon Vazquez raced down the right flank and whipped a cross to the left post for Alvaro Barreal. The ball was going into the net before Eloy Room did a split and made a kick save with his right foot.
Room made two saves for his sixth shutout of the season.
The Crew are 5-1-3 all-time vs. Cincinnati (3-0-1 at home) and moved into sixth place in the Eastern Conference, one spot ahead of FCC.
–Field Level Media