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Luciana Acosta, Yuya Kubo led Cincinnati to 6-1 romp over Inter Miami

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Luciano Acosta had the go-ahead score in a four-goal first half and added three assists, Yuya Kubo scored twice and FC Cincinnati cooled off Inter Miami with a 6-1 romp on Saturday night in a battle between the league's top two teams to this point.

Acosta became the first Cincinnati player to score 50 career goals in helping his club move to the top spot in the Eastern Conference.

Inter Miami, which had won four 2-1 matches in a row despite playing without Lionel Messi and Luis Suárez, saw a club-record eight-match unbeaten streak on the road come to an end. Messi is suiting up for Argentina and Suárez is playing for Uruguay in the Copa America.

Cincinnati (15-4-3) jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the 10th minute when Kubo took a pass from Luca Orellano and sent a right-footed shot from the center of the box into the net.

Inter Miami (14-4-5) answered with the equalizer in the 21st minute when defender Sergii Kryvtsov used Julian Gressel's 10th assist to score his first goal this season and the second of his two-year career.

Acosta gave Cincinnati the lead for good in the 36th minute with an assist from Obinna Nwobodo. It was the 10th goal this season for Acosta and the second assist for Nwobodo.

Acosta picked up assists on Cincinnati's next two scores before adding a third on the finale, pushing his league-leading total to 17. He helped rookie Pavel Bucha score his fourth goal in the 38th minute and teamed up on the second goal this season by Yamil Asad in the fourth minute of stoppage time for a 4-1 lead at halftime.

Kubo took passes from Orellano and defender DeAndre Yedlin in the 57th minute to make it 5-1. It was Kubo's ninth goal of the season. Orellano's assist was the sixth of his rookie season and Yedlin's helper was his fourth.

Gerardo Valenzuela, a 19-year-old midfielder, scored the first goal of his career for a 6-1 lead in the 72nd minute. Acosta and Asad had assists.

Roman Celentano totaled three saves in goal for Cincinnati.

Drake Callender stopped four shots for Inter Miami, which lost midfielder Sergio Busquets to a red card in the 62nd minute.

It was only the second time in the last 10 years that the top two teams in the Supporters' Shield race have squared off this late in the season. The New York Red Bulls beat front-running Atlanta United 2-0 in September of 2018.

Cincinnati evens the all-time series at 4-4-2.

Inter Miami also played without Jordi Alba and Diego Gómez, who were serving one-match suspensions for an accumulation of yellow cards.

Cincinnati will host Charlotte FC on Saturday. Inter Miami returns to action on July 17 when it hosts Toronto FC.

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