Columbus Crew SC defeated in-state rival FC Cincinnati, 3-0, behind a brace from Gyasi Zardes and another tally from Pedro Santos on Saturday, February 23 at MUSC Health Stadium in Charleston, S.C., as part of the Club's third and final match of the 2019 Carolina Challenge Cup.
The Crew featured a lineup similar to the one in its first match against the Chicago Fire, but with Hector Jimenez slotting in at right back.
The Black & Gold took an early lead in the fifth minute, when Federico Higuain played a through ball to Zardes, who put the ball past goalkeeper Przemyslaw Tyton. Eleven minutes later, Zardes struck again as he pounced on a loose ball inside the box to make it 2-0 in favor of the Crew.
Crew SC continued to dominate possession in the first half, a trend that only increased when FCC’s Roland Lamah was ejected from the match following a slide tackle from behind on Pedro Santos.
The Black & Gold continued to press the action in the second half, which paid dividends quickly, as Santos received a ball from Jimenez inside the box to score the third goal of the evening.
The match marked Columbus' final preseason match. Up next, the Crew prepares to host the New York Red Bulls on Saturday, March 2 at MAPFRE Stadium at 4:30 p.m. ET.
CLB – Gyasi Zardes (Federico Higuain) 5’
CLB – Gyasi Zardes (Unassisted) 20’
CLB – Pedro Santos (Hector Jimenez) 47’
CLB – Jonathan Mensah (caution) 24’
CIN – Roland Lamah (ejection) 29’
Columbus Crew SC: Zack Steffen; Hector Jimenez (Harrison Afful 61’), Jonathan Mensah, Gaston Sauro, Waylon Francis; Artur, Wil Trapp ©; Pedro Santos, Federico Higuain, Justin Meram (Robinho 75’); Gyasi Zardes
FC Cincinnati: Przemyslaw Tyton; Kendall Waston © (Caleb Stanko 48’), Leonardo Bertone (Allan Cruz 79’, Roland Lamah, Victor Ulloa, Hagglund, Mathieu Deplagne, Alvas Powell (Corben Bone 82’), Eric Alexander (Fatai Alashe 48’), Justin Hoyte (Blake Smith 71’); Fanendo Adi