The Columbus Crew broke their scoring slump in emphatic manner with a 3-0 victory against visiting D.C. United on Saturday.
Pedro Santos scored in the 28th minute to end the goalless drought of the Crew (3-3-3, 12 points) at 388 minutes, Derrick Etienne Jr. made it 2-0 in the 43rd and Darlington Nagbe added another in the 75th.
Eloy Room made two saves for his second straight shutout.
D.C. (3-5-0, 9 points) was seeking its second straight win under interim head coach Chad Ashton following four straight losses for Hernán Losada.
On the first goal, James Igbekeme won a free kick after being fouled by Steve Birnbaum two yards outside the penalty area.
Santos, taking the restart in the absence of injured Lucas Zelarayan, sent a powerful strike through the wall to the far right netting as the Crew avoided being shut out for a franchise-record fifth straight match.
Columbus also dodged being blanked for a club-record third consecutive home game.
The goal marked the first time since the season-opening 4-0 win against Vancouver on Feb. 26 that Columbus scored first.
Etienne doubled the lead on his third goal of the season. Josh Williams was near midfield when he launched a ball over the top. Etienne timed his run to take the pass in stride down the left flank and after several dribbles, placed the ball near the same spot as the Santos goal.
Prior to the Crew’s breakthrough, D.C.’s best opportunity to score was by Ola Kamara in the 20th minute. The former Crew forward got around goalkeeper Room only to have his shot hit the right post and Room scrambled to cover the rebound.
Nagbe extended the lead to 3-0 by volleying a shot from 25 yards after D.C. cleared a corner kick. The ball looped to Nagbe who sent a screamer that bounced once just before skipping past goalkeeper Jon Kempin (no saves).
The Crew scored on all three of their shots on goal.
— Field Level Media
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