The Columbus Crew had been losers of three of their past four matches, but they scored a sorely-needed victory just before the all-star break to boost their chances of catching the playoff pack in the East.
Midfielder Chris Birchall raced onto a Jairo Arrieta pass just after halftime and beat the D.C. United defense before slotting home the game's only goal in the Crew's 1-0 victory at Crew Stadium on Saturday.
The tightly-contested defensive affair saw D.C. control possession for stretches (they held an almost 2-1 edge in possession), but fail to really test Crew goalkeeper Andy Gruenebaum. Both teams managed just three shots on target, with only a second-half chance from Chris Pontius really troubling Gruenebaum.
D.C. United nearly found a late equalizer, but fullback Chris Korb blasted a shot off the crossbar in the 88th minute.
Gruenebaum recorded three saves for his seventh shutout of the season.
Here are the match highlights:
What did you think of the match? Impressed with the Crew's ability to shut down D.C. United's offense? Surprised by D.C. United's slump since coming off a two-week break?
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