From the opening whistle, it was obvious Columbus Crew SC was on a mission. The Black and Gold hadn't won a game in over a month - their only win of the season. The side returned home after a rough road trip that saw two draws and cross-continent travel.
The Black and Gold throttled an in-form Orlando City SC side that entered the match confident after a big road win a week ago 3-0 on Saturday night.
The opening five minutes of the contest were some of the most exciting soccer for Crew SC of the season to that point with multiple chances, but the Black and Gold were unable to finish early.
Columbus continued to knock on the door of the goal in front of the Nordecke, but to no avail.
That is until Ethan Finlay got free on the attacking right hand side in the 32nd minute. The winger drove a low cross through the Orlando City six-yard box and Federico Higuain put it away with a cheeky flick.
Just two minutes later, Rafael Ramos, who failed to track Higuain on the goal, let his emotions get the best of him. After feeling he was fouled on a tackle by Waylon Francis, Ramos went after the Crew SC left back, going in on a dangerous scissor tackle that sent Francis to the grass.
Ramos tried to escape as members of the Black and Gold came rushing over. What he couldn't escape was a straight red card and possible further disciple from Major League Soccer as he took his time leaving the pitch, arguing with anyone who got in his way.
After falling down a man, the Lions didn't sit back, but rather attacked Crew SC. They were unable to find an equalizer before the half and went into the break down a goal and a man.
Columbus came out in the second half with the bit between their teeth. After creating a few early chances but failing to convert, the Black and Gold finally doubled their lead thanks to pressure from striker Kei Kamara and the finishing ability of Justin Meram.
The possession-oriented Lions attempted to dribble out of the back in the 55th minute and Kamara was there to win the ball from behind. His tackle sent the ball direct to Justin Meram, who made a nifty move around the first defender before powering the ball by goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts for the 2-0 lead.
Five minutes later Kamara turned finisher, running on to a ball and chipping an onrushing Ricketts for the 3-0 advantage. Game, set, match.
As the crowd chanted a desire for fourth goal, Crew SC nearly got it from Kamara, who was judged to be offside on a goal. Replay showed the ball may have touched an Orlando defender last, but Kamara's involvement in the play was enough to warrant the call.
In the end, Columbus made a statement with their best performance and biggest win of the season.
Crew SC remain home next week, as they welcome the Philadelphia Union to MAPFRE Stadium, looking for another three points.