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Game Day 7: Crew Fall to Fire

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It was an incredibly poor showing for the Crew in Bridgeview.

USA TODAY Sports

The Crew dropped another game in Chicago. Not surprising given they haven't won there since 2006. The lifeless performance was a shock.

Columbus came out aggressively with several forays forward. Agustin Viana headed home an early chance that was called back. Josh Williams forced Gonzalo Segares into a yellow card foul in the 6th minute and Wells Thompson was a little lucky to see only yellow for a studs up tackle on Viana.

The rest of the half became more dire as both sides pressed aggressively and disrupted any offensive flow throughout. Neither side was able to create solid chances from any possession they were able to build.

The second half was a different story. The Crew came out flat and were immediately pinned in their own half with much of the action happening in the defensive third for minutes on end. The Fire peppered the Crew goal, but only by the power of Gruenebaum were they kept off the board. Gruenebaum finished with six saves, many were save of the week candidates.

The Fire were able to break through finally in the 80th minute. Jalil Anibaba's throw in was flicked on by Austin Berry to Jeff Larentowicz. Larentowicz directed it past Gruenebaum, the only shot he had no chance on all night.

The Fire's dominance played out in the numbers. The hosts had 21 shots to the Crew's six. Seven Fire shots were on target where as the Crew failed to force a save out of Sean Johnson. The Crew, needing set pieces, had zero corner kicks and two free kicks. The Fire had 10 corners and an additional three free kicks. The scoreboard flattered the visitors.

Columbus finished the brutal opening to the season with a 2-2-3 record. The highlights were wins at Chivas and at D.C., but there were too often lowlights such as two home ties and especially the lifeless loss against Chicago. They stand in sixth place in the East and now have three straight home matches with D.C., the Red Bulls, and Colorado visiting. Anything less than two wins will be a failure.