There’s nothing like facing a former team to help break a scoring drought.
Gyasi Zardes scored after a six-game drought and Hector Jimenez broke one that extended 100 games further as their current club, Columbus Crew SC, earned a 3-0 win over their former club, the LA Galaxy, Wednesday at MAPFRE Stadium.
Columbus snapped a five-game losing streak, while LA lost Jonathan dos Santos to injury in the first half while trailing 1-0.
Zardes struck in the 27th minute, using his left-foot to redirect an inswinging cross from Robinhopast David Bingham, to give the Crew their first lead in 566 minutes, dating back to their 1-0 win against the New England Revolution on April 6. Federico Higuaín was credited with an assist after passing to Robinho, setting a new Columbus record for career regular-season assists with 62, breaking a tie at 61 assists with Robert Warzycha.
Higuain and Zardes then switched roles early in the second half, as Zardes held the ball up and split two defenders with a perfect lay-off into the path of Higuaín, whose run from midfield took him into the penalty area, where he angled a right-footed shot in off the far post. It was the first goal of the season for Higuaín and Zardes’ first MLS assist for Columbus after 23 goals.
The third goal also involved Zardes and Higuaín, as the Argentine playmaker picked out Jiménez overlapping on the right. His low cross, intended for Zardes, was blocked by Daniel Steres, but it fell right to Jimenez, whose shot deflected into the lower left corner for his first goal in more than five years and 106 games, going back to April 19, 2014.
Steres grabbed a late consolation goal for LA, one-timing in a Sebastian Lletget corner kick at the back post.
Columbus (5W-6L-1D) arrested their slide down the standings and will remain in the Eastern Conference playoff places through the weekend, while the Galaxy (7W-3L-1D) remain two points behind LAFC at the top of the Western Conference.
- 27' – CLB – Gyasi Zardes | WATCH
- 53' – CLB – Federico Higuain | WATCH
- 66' – CLB – Hector Jimenez | WATCH
- 87' – LA – Daniel Steres | WATCH
- THE BIG PICTURE: Columbus lifted a weight off their collective shoulders with the win and three-goal game, while the Galaxy's second straight road loss and the injury to dos Santos underscore the challenges faced in a three-game week.
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: In the 50th minute, Galaxy right back Rolf Feltscher hung up a dangerous cross to the back post, but Zlatan Ibrahimovic's downward header was beaten away by Zack Steffen to maintain the 1-0 Columbus lead. Higuain scored three minutes later, and although Ibrahimovic later hit the crossbar, LA never looked likely to score twice.
- MAN OF THE MATCH: With due respect to Zardes and to Robinho, who set up the opening goal and was very active cutting in from the left, Higuain is always the leader of the Columbus attack, and he pulled the strings on a night that saw the Crew score as many goals in one game as they had in their previous six.
- CLB: Sat., May 11 vs. LAFC (7:30 pm ET | MLS LIVE on ESPN+ in US; DAZN in Canada)
- LA: Sat., May 11 vs. New York City FC (4 pm ET | ESPN, ESPN Deportes, WatchESPN in US; DAZN in Canada)