Megan Scribner, ColumbusCrewSC.com
Columbus Crew SC made easy work on Saturday night, defeating the Chicago Fire 3-0 at MAPFRE Stadium. Despite denting an uncooperative goal post on multiple occasions, the home team surged to its fifth consecutive match without a loss and third consecutive shutout.
Midfielder Federico Higuain opened the scoring in the 28th minute. Forward Gyasi Zardes was fouled inside the box by Chicago’s Kevin Ellis, leading to Higuain’s club-record 18th penalty kick conversion.
Zardes climbed into the pole position in the early Golden Boot race, scoring his seventh and eighth goals of the season. Niko Hansen drove the ball up the right side to the net, passing to Zardes at the last moment for a tap-in goal.
In the 70th minute, Zardes struck for the second time on a cross from Ricardo Clark. The ball dummied through the legs of Mike Grella to Zardes, who swiftly found the back of the net. Zardes has three goals in the past two games.
Columbus out-possessed Chicago 55.3 percent. Goalkeeper Zack Steffen recorded his fifth shutout of the season as Columbus continues a five game unbeaten streak.
Next up, Crew SC travels to Gillette Stadium to take on the New England Revolution on Saturday May 19 at 7:30 p.m. ET.