Gyasi Zardes scored two goals and Pedro Santos added a goal with two assists as the host Columbus Crew rolled to a 4-0 victory Saturday over slumping Inter Miami CF.
Zardes opened the scoring in the 39th minute and Santos followed in the 44th minute, off a second assist for Darlington Nagbe, to it 2-0 and the Crew (10-12-7, 37 points) cruised from there.
Zardes scored his ninth goal of the season in the 64th minute and Miami defender Leandro Gonzalez Pirez had an own goal in the 83rd minute to cap off a demoralizing evening.
Inter Miami (9-15-5, 32 points) have lost six straight, including the past four by shutout.
Crew goalkeeper Eloy Room needed just one save for his sixth shutout of the season.
Crew coach Caleb Porter became the 11th coach in MLS history to win 100 regular season games with a record of 100-84-7. He is also one of three coaches to win an MLS Cup with multiple teams- Columbus in 2020 and the Portland Timbers in 2015.
Zardes, upon return from his stint with the U.S. Men’s National Team for CONCACAF World Cup qualifying, gave the Crew the first-half lead. He was able to get a flick with his head from 12 yards after a curving cross by Santos.
Santos doubled the lead just before halftime following a heads-up defensive play by Nagbe. After Nagbe stole a lazy throw-in deep in the Miami end and dribbled to near the top of the penalty area before finding Santos for a left-footed shot.
Zardes’s second goal of the game, near the midway point of the second half, was another header from a service by Santos.
Despite the Crew entering with more points, Miami had a better goal differential by a wide margin. The Herons were plus-seven (33 goals for, 26 against) compared to the Crew’s minus-seven (32-39).
Nagbe played in his 300th regular season game, the 22nd player in MLS history to reach that milestone and the eighth active player to reach the mark.
Both teams are in action Wednesday when Inter Miami plays host to Toronto FC, while the Crew plays at Nashville SC.
— Field Level Media