Crew defeat Fire for third straight win

ByReuters ESPN logo
Sunday, June 11, 2023

Lucas Zelarayan scored an improbable goal in the 93rd minute to give the Columbus Crew a 2-1 victory against the host Chicago Fire on Saturday.

Xherdan Shaqiri's goal in the 88th minute had rallied the Fire to a 1-1 tie after Cucho Hernandez gave the Crew (8-6-3, 27 points) the lead in the 59th.

Zelarayan was at midfield when he saw goalkeeper Spencer Richey off his line and sent the ball soaring into the open net.

The Crew have won three straight, while the Fire (3-6-8, 17 points) saw their winless streak reach six games (0-3-3). It was also their first home loss of the season (2-1-6).

Columbus is 2-5-1 on the road.

It was that kind of game for the Crew.

Hernandez needed a fortunate bounce to tie the team record by contributing a goal or an assist in eight straight matches. He has four goals and six assists during the streak.

He equaled the mark of teammate Zelarayan (2021-22) and Jeff Cunningham (2001).

Darlington Nagbe started the play near midfield with a through ball to Hernandez. His shot from distance deflected off a Chicago player into the net.

The Crew's 33 goals entering the game led MLS, but they didn't manage a shot on target until the first minute of first-half stoppage time when Zelarayan had a shot from 25 yards. Richey easily made the save.

Chicago didn't fare any better, but its lone shot on goal in the opening 45 minutes at least had a better chance of producing a score. Kei Kamara was free down the left flank for a strike that forced goalkeeper Patrick Schulte to stretch for a save with his left hand.

Otherwise, the most excitement came in the 29th minute, when Crew defender Malte Amundsen's foul just outside the penalty area seemingly meant his second yellow card in nine minutes and an ejection.

However, video review determined Chicago midfielder Brian Gutierrez had been offside, nullifying the foul and card.

--Field Level Media

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