Cucho Hernandez broke a tie in the 83rd minute in his MLS debut and Derrick Etienne Jr. scored twice as the Columbus Crew overcame a two-goal, second-half deficit to defeat the host Chicago Fire 3-2 on Saturday.
Hernandez took an outlet from Luis Diaz, who had two assists, and chipped the ball inside the left post over goalkeeper Gabriel Slovina as the Crew (6-5-7, 25 points) extended their unbeaten streak to six (3-0-3).
The Fire (4-10-5) got goals from Rafael Czichos in the 29th and Chris Mueller in the 41st for the 2-0 lead. The Crew started their rally when Etienne and Diaz were inserted for the start of the second half.
Etienne had goals in the 63rd and 75th minutes to make it 2-2. He has a team-high five goals this season.
Hernandez entered in the 62nd minute. The 23-year-old Colombian scored five goals for Watford of England’s Premier League in the 2021-22 season before signing with the Crew on June 8 for the largest transfer fee ($10 million) in club history.
The Fire, whose 16 goals were the fewest in the Eastern Conference, took the lead on Czichos’ first MLS goal in his 14th match when a line drive cross by Mueller skimmed his head.
Mueller doubled the advantage against the disorganized defense, making a late run to the center of the box for an unmarked shot from the pass by Jhon Duran.
Columbus drew to within one thanks to Etienne. Lucas Zelarayan had the pinpoint pass that split the defense, allowing Etienne an open look from the left side.
Zelarayan was the catalyst for the second goal on the transition. He drew the defense before sending the ball to his right where Diaz found Etienne with a pass.
After the Hernandez goal, the Fire went down to 10 men in the 90th minute when Miguel Navarro was given a red card for violent conduct.
–Field Level Media