COLUMBUS, Ohio — Gyasi Zardes scored twice to take the MLS scoring lead and the Columbus Crew beat the Chicago Fire 3-0 on Saturday night.
Zardes drew a penalty in the 27th minute when Chicago's Kevin Ellis grabbed him from behind by the arm. Federico Higuain opened the scoring a minute later, converting from the spot with a rising shot into the top of the net.
Niko Hansen started a counter in the 50th minute with a takeaway behind midfield and went all the way to about 5 yards from goal to set up Zardes, who finished with a left-footed stab to double the lead.
Zardes added his league-leading eighth goal of the season in the 70th minute. Mike Grella dummied Ricardo Clark's cross to give Zardes space to finish from a yard behind the spot.
Columbus improved to 6-3-3, and Chicago dropped to 3-5-2.