The Columbus Crew Falls to the Chicago Fire 2-1

USA TODAY Sports

Goals from Dilly Duka and Mike Magee push the Fire past the Crew.

The Crew got off to another host start, but this time it was wasted as the Fire scored twice in the second half, including former Black and Gold winger Dilly Duka.

Bearing striking similarities to last week's game, Dominic Oduro pressed deep in the visitor's half. This time Fire defender Austin Berry was stripped and Oduro bore down on the Chicago goal. Goalkeeper Sean Johnson closed down the space, but clipped Oduro as he rounded him. Referee Drew Fischer pointed to the spot and Higuain finished the spot kick in the 7th minute.

After the bright start, the heat started to take hold and the game slowed up. An injury to Fire midfielder Logan Pause forced a 26th minute substitution. Jeff Larentowicz was able to steady the Chicago midfield and stem the Crew's hold on the game.

Both sides would settle into playing hopeful balls forward with neither team getting off any good shots before halftime.

After struggling early, the Fire came out strong in the second half as Joel Lindpere would make a near immediate impact. The Estonian drilled a close cross from the right side and whip it past Josh Williams. Duka had a free header and volleyed it past a stranded Andy Gruenebaum in the 52nd minute.

The Fire would grab the lead just two minutes later as Lindpere whipped in a cross. Magee slipped past Williams to chest the ball into the net to give Chicago their second goal of the night.

A wobbling Crew side would find it's footing as they settled after reeling from the Fire's double goal barrage. Columbus would pile on the pressure, registering 14 shots, including 6 on target, after the Fire pulled ahead. Johnson would be up to the shot barrage making several outstanding saves.

Warzycha would summon Aaron Schoenfeld in the 80th minute and Justin Meram in the 88th, but it was too late to turn the game around.

The loss, the third at home on the year, drops the Crew to 5-6-5 with 20 points on the year. After having a chance to vault into third place, Columbus remains in 6th. After their big win against Montreal, the Black and Gold slipped on another chance to make a playoff statement.

The team returns to action on Saturday against Sporting Kansas City. It's another chance against a playoff team. The Crew can't afford to let another opportunity slip past them.

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