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Columbus Crew SC Finally Play How they Want on the Road and Win

The 1-0 victory at Toyota Park is exactly what the Black & Gold needed.

Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

Chicago Fire head coach Frank Yallop finished his opening statement of last night's press conference with a summation of how Wednesday night's match with Columbus Crew SC went.

"We were totally out-played tonight."

While the Black & Gold only won 1-0 at Toyota Park, they controlled the game for the team's first away win of the season.

"I think it's partly just the guys believing in themselves and understanding how good they are and how good they can be," Berhalter said of his team's performance. "When we move the ball like that, we are very difficult to play against."

It hasn't been uncommon this year for Crew SC to dominate offensively but not get the desired result, especially on the road. The Black & Gold out-shot the Fire 14-8 and put half of those chances on goal. The team had 55.5 percent of the possession (which rose into the 70s at times during the first half).

This time, Columbus turned domination into results, even if it was only a 1-0 score line.

"I thought it was a great game for us," winger Ethan Finlay said. "In the first half, it was probably some of the best football we've played all year. It was fantastic. It was fun to watch and it was fun to be a part of."

After several chances to take the lead, the Black & Gold finally found the net just minutes before halftime when Finlay floated a cross to Kei Kamara and the league-leading goal scorer beat goalkeeper Sean Johnson with a powerful header for his 13th finish of the season.

It was the first time in eight games Crew SC scored the opening goal of the match, which helped the team throughout the rest of the contest.

"I thought it was important," Berhalter said of scoring first. "I think that we needed validation for playing that well. The validation is goals. We got it. You got to keep going from there."

Columbus continued to attack in the second half until Yallop made multiple attacking substitutions. This brought the Fire back into the game some, but they were still unable to create too many dangerous chances, forcing Crew SC goalkeeper Steve Clark into just two saves on the night.

The Black & Gold were tired of hearing about the team's struggles on the road. It was time to come out and play like they know they can and get a result.

"We said it's finally time to get something on the road," Kamara said. "It was perfect work from everyone. Three points from one goal, but three points is huge."

With the road win over Chicago complete, Crew SC now turn to Sunday's home match, again against the Fire. Columbus will hope for another dominating performance in that match with perhaps more goals.

More importantly the Black & Gold will want another three points in continued pursuit to move up the Eastern Conference standings.