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Fire crushed by Crew in return to season

Fire suffer 3-0 loss in first game since the MLS is Back Tournament.

The Fire’s Djordje Mihailovic and the Crew’s Luis Diaz battle for the ball in the first half Thursday at MAPFRE Stadium in Columbus, Ohio.
The Fire’s Djordje Mihailovic and the Crew’s Luis Diaz battle for the ball in the first half Thursday at MAPFRE Stadium in Columbus, Ohio.
Emilee Chinn/Getty Images

Darlington Nagbe and Gyasi Zardes scored seven minutes apart in the second half and the host Crew beat the Fire 3-0 on Thursday night in Columbus, Ohio.

The Crew (5-0-1) sit atop the Supporters’ Shield race with five wins in six matches, conceding just one goal. It was the first game for the Fire (1-4-1) since the MLS is Back Tournament.

Derrick Etienne opened the scoring in the 20th minute. Milton Valenzuela ran down a long ball at the edge of the 18-yard box and cut it back to an open Etienne, who rolled it inside the far post from the penalty spot. It was Etienne’s first goal for the Crew and his first overall since May 4, 2019, with the New York Red Bulls.

Nagbe made it 2-0 in the 81st minute, volleying a shot from distance off the post and in. Then Zardes tapped home Pedro Santos’ cross in front of the goal.

Zardes sailed a penalty-kick attempt in first-half stoppage time.