*Note: This editorial was edited by ColumbusCrewSC.com and provided by MLSsoccer.com
Hell was real but also scoreless on Saturday night, as the Columbus Crew SC (5-1-2, 17 pts.) and FC Cincinnati (2-4-2, 8 pts.) dueled to a 0-0 draw at Nippert Stadium in the latest installment of their "Hell is Real" Derby.
The first half had the physicality and energy you'd expect in a rivalry game, but no goals. The best scoring chance for each team came, oddly, on an FC Cincy corner. In the 11th minute, the Crew broke a counter on the set-piece finishing with Youness Mokhtar trying to chip a very-off-his-line Przemyslaw Tyton. The shot went wide, however. Then, in the 17th minute, a strong Siem de Jong free-kick forced Eloy Room into a diving save. FCC couldn't convert on the rebound, even though Joe Gyau did get off a far-post header attempt.
The second half continued with more tantalizing chances but no breakthrough. That included a Lucas Zelarayan 51st-minute shot that skipped to the wrong side of the post, a Maikel van der Werff attempt on another spot-on de Jong free kick, a 55th-minute Gyasi Zardes cross in the box that Pedro Santos couldn't slide onto the end of, and a 71st-minute long Yuya Kubo shot that tested Room.
Speaking of Room, it was his first appearance back since injuring his hamstring in the MLS is Back Tournament, and it looked like he never left.
Columbus didn't have too much to worry about defensively, conceding two shots on target, and Room made both stops look easy.
Following his diving save in the first-half, the Curacao international came up big in the 52nd-minute with an insane reflex save.
On the day, Columbus maintained over 60-percent of the possession and hit three shots on target, and perhaps telling of Cincinnati's defensive bunkering, the Crew delivered an astounding 30 crosses into the box.
Next up, Crew SC hosts the Philadelphia Union on Wednesday, Sept. 2 at 7:30 p.m. ET (FOX Sports Ohio, FOX Sports GO, 97.1 FM The Fan).
By Crew SC Communications
- With his start in tonight’s road contest against FC Cincinnati, forward Gyasi Zardes reached 200 appearances (185 starts) in MLS regular-season action. Zardes is now one of only two players on Crew SC's current roster to have made 200 or more appearances in MLS regular-season action, joining Darlington Nagbe (278 appearances). Since joining MLS ahead of the 2013 season, Zardes has scored 71 goals and provided 20 assists in his 200 regular-season appearances.
- Goalkeeper Eloy Room earned his fourth shutout of the 2020 regular-season in tonight’s match against FC Cincinnati, making three saves en route to helping Crew SC earn a point on the road. Room’s first clean sheet of the 2020 regular season came on Opening Match at home during a 1-0 victory over New York City FC (March 1) followed by shutout wins against FC Cincinnati (July 11) and the New York Red Bulls (July 16). .
- Midfielder Fatai Alashe made his regular-season debut for the Black & Gold as a substitute during tonight’s match against FC Cincinnati. Alashe came in for midfielder Lucas Zelarayan in the 67th minute. In addition to making his crew SC debut, his appearance in tonight’s match marked his 100th regular-season appearance (73rd start) since joining MLS MLS appearance in 2015.
- With the result against FC Cincinnati, Crew SC’s record moved to 5-1-2 (17 pts.) in the 2020 MLS regular season.
- Up next, Crew SC returns home to face Philadelphia Union on Wednesday, September 2 (7:30 p.m. ET [FOX Sports Ohio, FOX Sports Go App (Stream)] / Streaming online via the “Listen Live” button at 971TheFan.com / Spanish audio on ColumbusCrewSC.com).