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Columbus Crew SC climb standings in 2-0 win over San Jose

Meram and Finlay lead the way as Columbus gets vital win

MLS: San Jose Earthquakes at Columbus Crew SC Joe Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

Columbus got a vital 2-0 win over San Jose to keep their slim playoff hopes alive as Ethan Finlay and Justin Meram scored and Crew SC got their sixth shutout of the season as they rested Federico Higuain and Ola Kamara and turned to a new aquisition.

Crew SC would dominate in the first half by sending in crosses to the recent Quake Adam Jahn, getting his first start in over a year. Columbus put in 18 crosses, a league high on the season and fired off 13 shots, though only four on target.

While they had previously squandered that statistical dominance, Crew SC would make it count in the 32nd minute and it would come off a cross. With San Jose playing deep, Nicolai Naess played a long ball switching the point of attack to the right and Justin Meram. The winger then cut deep and let loose a low cross that Finlay stabbed home for an easy goal and the 1-0 lead.

The second half settled into a defensive battle. San Jose, belying their season long goal drought, struggled to push forward and test the Crew SC defense. The Quakes would fire in four shots, only one on target. That wouldn't be enough to break the shutout that the Columbus defense was able to put up.

Columbus, content to counter, only fired off two shots in the second half. One of them was on a Meram penalty kick in the 84th minute that sealed the fifth win on the season, and the first home win at MAPFRE since May 28th.

Crew SC moved to 5-9-11 on the year with 26 points. The win pushed them up to 9th in the Eastern Conference ahead of last place Chicago Fire, but remained six points away from the final playoff spot held by D.C. United.

Columbus heads to Los Angeles to face the Galaxy next Saturday in an effort to continue climbing the standings and search for a third straight playoff appearance.