After playing just three days prior, head coach Gregg Berhalter elected to make multiple changes to his lineup, giving it a much more reserve feel. Orlando, who last played the previous Wednesday and had the weekend off, fielded a mostly first-choice lineup.
The names of the players on the field didn't seem to matter in the early going as the Black & Gold dominated. Forward Adam Bedell, who scored twice in Columbus' 3-1 win over the Richmond Kickers in the previous round, had the chance to change the game just five minutes in.
Midfielder Ben Speas got free on the attacking right-hand side and delivered a dangerous cross into the 18-yard box. Bedell's flick header beat goalkeeper Tally Hall, but pinged off the crossbar and was cleared. If that finds the back of the net, it's not telling how it changes the rest of the match.
It didn't take long for this game to get chippy, and Crew SC received multiple dangerous free kicks in the early portion of the match, but were unable to convert.
In the 21st minute, Orlando took the lead through former World Player of the Year Kaka, but it all began with a free kick from the top corner of the box. Kaka's ball from the set piece was headed home by Sean St. Ledger, but the flag went up for offside.
City didn't get their heads down after the call, winning the ball back from midfielder Kevan George as he attempted to dribble out of the defensive third. The ball came to Kaka, who calmly beat Columbus backup goalkeeper Brad Stuver for the 1-0 advantage.
Thirteen minutes later and Orlando double the lead on another mistake at the back.
Two Crew SC defenders attempted to win the ball back and when they did, Tyson Wahl's clearance was not far enough outside the box. Forward Sidney Rivas beat Tony Tchani to the loose ball and fired a rocket into the net.
The Black & Gold came out to start the second half like they did the first, looking to get back into the match. Just a minute in, forward Aaron Schoenfeld played a low cross through the City penalty area. Winger Kristinn Steindrosson got on the end of it, but his one-time effort went high of the goal.
Three minutes later, Steindorsson again had a chance to pull one back. This time, his shot beat Hall, but St. Ledger came rushing to the goal line to clear the attempt away with his head.
Just after entering the match in the 63rd minute, midfielder Justin Meram dribbled into the box and appeared to be clipped by an Orlando defender. No call was given and Columbus played on down by two.
The singular bright spot for Crew SC came in the 72nd minute when midfielder Wil Trapp made his return to the Black & Gold's lineup.
Trapp, who missed 14 games in all competition dealing with a concussion issue, will be a welcomed site for Columbus fans.
Orlando now advances to the quarterfinals to take on the winner of the Chicago Fire and the Charlotte Independence. Crew SC meanwhile can focus its attention on league play where the side has one win the in last eight games.
The Black & Gold welcome the New York Red Bulls to MAPFRE Stadium in a Fourth of July meeting. The club will look to avenge a 2-1 defeat to Red Bull earlier this season.
Crew SC: Brad Stuver; Chad Barson, Emanuel Pogatetz, Tyson Wahl; Kevan George, Tony Tchani; Chris Klute, Ben Speas, Kristinn Steindrosson; Aaron Schoenfeld, Adam Bedell
Orlando City: Tally Hall; Rafael Ramos, Seb Hines, Sean St. Ledger, Luke Boden; Darwin Cerin, Cristian Higuita; Eric Avila, Kaka, Carlos Rivas; Pedro Ribero