COLUMBUS, OH – The second match of Hell is Real took place at MAPFRE Stadium in Columbus on Sunday evening. Not only was this a big game due to the rivalry but 1,500 fans were permitted in the stadium. In our current COVID world, this was significant to fans, media and the teams who have been missing the energy and excitement surrounding MLS matches. Columbus was able to come out on top and seal the victory over FC Cincinnati 3-0, the perfect gift to their fans!
Despite the short season, FC Cincinnati (2-4-3) has been having a rough go of it which is on trend for them, unfortunately. Columbus (6-1-2) has really stepped up this season and are currently sitting in the #1 spot in the Eastern conference.
The first installment of Hell is Real resulted in a 0-0 draw and both teams showed up ready to play tonight. Both teams moved the ball well and showed great aggression but Columbus started the match strong, leading in overall possession at 56.3% and 85% in the attacking half. Columbus outshot Cincinnati 7-4 but weren’t able to find the back of the net during the first half. Cincinnati midfielder Frankie Amaya (24) and defender Kendall Waston (2) both stepped up huge to prevent Columbus from putting any points on the board.
When the teams returned to the field for the second half, it was apparent Columbus was not going to let up until they found the net. At 52’, Columbus midfielder Pedro Santos (7) slid one past Cincinnati goalkeeper Przemysław Tytoń (22) to take a 1-0 lead over FC Cincinnati.
Cincinnati was visibly frustrated after the Columbus goal as they still couldn’t move into the attacking half to make any type of impact. At 64’, Columbus did it yet again with a goal by forward Gyasi Zardes (11), who had only been on the pitch for approximately 2 minutes, to take the Crew up 2-0 over Cincinnati.
While only behind two goals, Cincinnati had a chance to make some kind of comeback but at 71’, Zardes found the net yet again to put Columbus up 3-0. It was becoming clear that Cincinnati’s defense was getting worn down after being absolutely pummeled by the Crew all night. While Cincinnati did find a bit of time in the attacking half, it was nothing to be dangerous enough to put some points on the board. Despite 3 minutes of stoppage time added to the end of the match, Cincinnati just couldn’t manage to find the goal, despite their best efforts.
Columbus advances to 7-1-2 and will travel to Chicago for their next match on September 12. FC Cincinnati falls at 2-5-3 and will travel to New York City to take on NYCFC on September 12.
Written by Kiley Compton
(Image Credit: Austyn Mcfadden/ SkyBoat)