- Cucho Hernández (8' Pen, 16' Pen, 23')
- Xherdan Shaqiri (67')
Hernandez converted penalties in the eighth and 16th minutes and a header off a corner kick seven minutes later as the Crew (14-9-6, 48 points) ran their home unbeaten streak to eight wins and two ties.
Chicago (8-12-9, 33 points) has five losses and a tie in the past six matches. The Fire have been shut out in five straight matches (493 minutes) and have not won in Columbus since June 2013 (10 losses, four ties).
The Crew will return to the playoffs for the first time since winning the 2020 MLS Cup. Columbus' latest berth was sealed when D.C. United tied Atlanta United 1-1 on Wednesday.
Hernandez produced his second hat trick of the month. He needed 65 minutes at CF Montreal on Sept. 2 to accomplish the feat. Of his 13 goals this season, seven have been in the past three matches.
His outburst was a franchise record for the quickest three goals. Stern John had a hat trick in 28 minutes against Kansas City (now Sporting Kansas City) on Aug. 16, 1998.
Souquet was yellow-carded and will miss the next match because of yellow-card accumulations.
A snap header by Hernandez from 10 yards of a cross by midfielder Julian Gressel completed the hat trick.
The Fire went to 10 players in the 67th minute when midfielder Xherdan Shaqiri was shown a second yellow for a studs-up challenge.
Chicago had six yellows in addition to the red.
--Field Level Media
- Ismir Pekmic
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