Crew Snuffs Out Chicago Fire with 2-0 Home Game Win
The Crew finally got back to winning ways Saturday evening as Ethan Finlay grabbed his second goal in two games and Jairro Arrieta added a second to give the home side it’s first win since March 29 against a rather subdued and injury hit Chicago Fire.
Gregg Berhalter decided to mix up his starting eleven, moving Jimenez to fullback, bringing in Eric Gehrig to center-half and giving Ethan Finlay his first start of the season while dropping the often ineffective Josh Williams to the bench.
The rejigged Crew line-up seemed to do the trick for the team as they started much the better team, keeping possession and harassing the Chicago players whenever they had the ball.
The early pressure paid off in the 10th minute when Finlay opened the scoring, after being put through on goal by Higuain, the winger skipped past Fire ‘keeper Sean Johnson and slid the ball into the net from a tight angle before running off to the Nordecke to celebrate in front of a crowd that had been waiting almost a month since the last goal at Crew Stadium.
Chicago failed to do what other teams have done in recent weeks and shut down Higuain’s through-balls and again the Crew forward picked out the perfect pass, this time for Arrieta, who was sent one-on-one with Johnson before slamming the ball between the Fire ‘keeper’s legs and into the back of the net.
The Crew slowed things down a little and tried to dominate possession, unfortunately Toni Tchani kept trying to keep the game competitive by giving the ball away with alarming regularity and Steve Clark’s comedy air-shot thankfully went unpunished by a lackluster Chicago offense.
The second half went by in a fairly pedestrian manner, as the Crew were happy to kick the ball around while Chicago offered next to no threat of mounting a come back.
Higuain picked up his 5th yellow card of the year with a silly display of obstructing a Fire free kick and will now miss next week’s away day at Toronto FC for the next game in the Trillium Cup.
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Matt Ellis is a freelance photographer who covers bands that visit the city and the Columbus Crew MLS team. More about Matt can be found at Matt Ellis Photography.