A near capacity crowd of 19,674 was on hand as the Crew cruised to victory on a hot, power outage delayed, night against Real Salt Lake. An early goal from Tony Tchani gave the Crew the lead and an Eddie Gaven goal before halftime would ensure that Columbus would take full points in the 2-0 win.
Tchani bagged his 2nd goal in two weeks in the 16th minute. Columbus had been on the back foot, but Sebastian Miranda sent in a long ball that Emilio Renteria touched outside. He drove toward the end line. Tchani found a pocket of space from 14 yards out as the Salt Lake defense collapsed and he slotted it home near post.
The Crew extended thier lead just before halftime with a goal from Eddie Gaven. Chris Birchall sent in a corner kick that found Josh Williams on the back post. Williams took a touch towards the end line and centered the ball. Gaven was all alone at the top of the 6 yard box when he slotted it just under the cross bar in the 44th minute.
Even though Salt Lake lead in shots and possession, they would head into the break down 2-0 against an opportunistic Crew team.
Real Salt Lake would press to get back into the game, but would struggle against a determined Crew defense. The visitors would only record 4 shots with only one being on target, a low shot by Luis Gil in the 76th minute that Andy Gruenebaum saved easily.
The Crew would get a couple chances to break out, often lead by substitute Milovan Mirosevic. He would dictate play and spring the team on the break. The Crew wouldn't be able to get anything on target, but it certainly pinned the visitors back.
It was certainly impressive with the way Columbus eased to victory against Real Salt Lake. Both had to contend with the difficult conditions in the aftermath of the powerful storms ripping through the city on Friday, but the Crew seemed fresher and took advantage of the home field and the strong crowd.
With three points, Columbus moves to 5-5-4 and 22 points on the year. That puts the team in 6th place, having played one less game than the Dynamo, Fire, and Sporting Kansas City. They have played two less games than the conference front runners New York Red Bulls and D.C. United.
The Crew return to action on the road net Sunday. They face off against struggling Montreal. The Impact have lost 2 consecutive games and have a game midweek. Columbus enjoys the extra rest. The game kicks off at 7:30 on the 8th at Stade Saputo.