Columbus Crew Defeat F.C. Dallas Behind Four Different Goal Scorers.

Both the Crew and F.C. Dallas started the night playing for their playoff lives and were headed in opposite directions. Columbus had won three of four including two in a row to claw back into contention, but the hosts had lost two straight after a win against Vancouver and had slipped well off the pace in the West. Both needed a win to have any playoff hopes, but it would be the visitors that would get it.

The Crew got off to another quick start with an 8th minute goal behind a ricocheted Federico Higuain effort. Wil Trapp would set up the goal with an excellent through ball that skipped past the disorganized Dallas defense. Higuain would get into space and side step the goalkeeper Raul Fernandez, but Matt Hedges would kick the ball towards George John on the goal line. John's clearance was driven straight at the chest of Higuain and rolled in.

Again the Dallas defense would be undone, this time on a counter by Dominic Oduro to set up the second Crew goal. Oduro took a pass from Arrieta at midfield and exploded past Kellyn Acosta and through the Dallas half of the field before drawing John towards him and slipping the ball to Jairo Arrieta. Arrieta drove a shot off the crossbar and in to put the visitors up 2-1 in the 17th.

With the game headed towards a rout, Dallas would strike back minutes later. Mauro Diaz would be tripped up at midfield and almost immediately restarted play with a threaded pass to Blas Perez past a slow to react Crew defense. Perez would find space on the left side and put a far sided shot past Matt Lampson.

With Dallas pushing to equalize just before halftime, again it was Oduro's blazing speed that would conjure a goal out of thin air. A Chad Barson clearance fell to Oduro. He then chipped the ball past Hedges and beat fernandez near post in the 43rd minute to restore the two goal cushion.

The tone of the rest of the game would be set with the next goal. Dallas, chasing to equalize, was stunned with an Oduro counter and the Crew had a two goal lead on the road coming out of the break. Despite the confidence that the lead may have given the Crew, Columbus would quickly surrender another goal in ugly fashion.

In the 54th minute, George John would dribble down the left touchline and nearly put the ball over into touch. The assistant made no call and Jairo Arrieta, Tony Tchani, and Dominic Oduro all stopped playing to argue the call. John powered toward the box uncontested before dropping a pass to Diaz. Diaz drove past the half hearted tackle of Tyson Wahl and was able to tap the ball in to cut the lead to one.

Rather than being able to cruise to a win, the Crew now had to scrap to the finish. Referee Drew Fischer handed out five yellow cards in the final half hour as both teams battled fatigue to grab a result.

Bernardo Anor nearly gave the Crew the two goal advantage in the 69th minute as Anor took a Tchani pass near the center circle but drove towards the Dallas penalty box. His left footed shot dipped and forced another Fernandez save.

Anor would have to wait nearly 20 minutes to finally get the goal and put the game out of reach. Higuain would lob a pass more at home on the greens of Muirfield that split two Dallas defenders and dropped to Anor. Anor would take a one time shot and rip it past Fernandez to make it 4-2 and secure the Crew win.

The Crew's anemic playoff hopes of a month ago are still slim, but they are a single point out of fifth place with a game extra played. The team will again play a meaningful game this Saturday as Sporting Kansas City will be coming into Crew Stadium. Not many expected that the last time Columbus and Sporting faced off a month ago.

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