FC Cincinnati blew a two-goal lead but Junior Moreno scored the go-ahead goal in the 67th minute for a 3-2 victory against in-state rivals Columbus on Saturday to remain perfect at home.
Luciano Acosta scored in the 17th and 23rd minutes (penalty kick) for Cincinnati before the Crew tied it 2-2 on goals by Lucas Zelarayan in the 40th and newcomer Malte Amundsen in the 52nd.
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Cincinnati (9-1-3, 30 points), the MLS points leader, became the third team in the post-shootout era (since 2000) to win its first eight home games of the season, joining the San Jose Earthquakes (10 wins, 2002) and the Philadelphia Union (nine, 2020).
Columbus (5-5-3, 18 points) was the latest victim after Moreno took advantage of a massive gaffe by goalkeeper Patrick Schulte to regain the lead.
Acosta stole the ball from him on the left edge of the penalty area and passed to Brandon Vazquez. He sent the ball into the middle where Yuya Kubo touched it to Moreno.
Roman Celentano preserved the win with a leaping save of a Steven Moreira header at the goal line in the 93rd minute.
Cincinnati won for the second time (2-5-4) in the “Hell Is Real” derby, but is 2-0-3 in the past five vs. the Crew at home.
With a sellout crowd roaring, Acosta opened the scoring after a crafty setup from Dominique Badji, who beat defender Philip Quinton to the end line before a sharp cutback pass to the 6-yard box.
Quinton was involved in the second score also when he pulled down Badji and Acosta stepped to the dot and scored his fifth goal.
Zelarayan made it 2-1 off a throw-in with Cucho Hernandez finding him unmarked in the middle of the box for his fourth assist in the past three games. Zelarayan has four goals and three assists in his past seven games.
Amundsen, in his third game since being acquired from New York City FC, scored in his second straight game. He came in from his left back position to put in a rebound of a Hernandez shot.