By THOMAS FLOYD
First the scoreboard at Columbus Crew Stadium caught fire. Then D.C. United’s back line went up in flames.
Riding first-half goals from Dominic Oduro, Josh Williams and Federico Higuain, the Crew improved to 3-2-3 with a 3-0 win over United, who dropped to 1-6-1 just five months after playing in the Eastern Conference final.
Scheduled to kick off at 7:37 local time, the match didn’t get underway until 8:27 after the scoreboard caught fire, necessitating a visit from the fire department and forcing the relocation of fans sitting in the south end of the stadium.
The Crew jumped ahead in the 15th minute, as Jairo Arrieta found Oduro in front of goal for a point-blank finish. Eleven minutes later, Williams steered an Higuain corner home. And in first-half stoppage time, Higuain converted a penalty kick after Arrieta was taken down by Brandon McDonald.
United’s anemic attack (four goals in eight games) had its moments. A first-half header from Perry Kitchen found the back of the net, but it was called back for an apparent foul. Later in the half, first-year winger Kyle Porter struck woodwork with a near-post blast. In the game’s dying stages, Lionard Pajoy’s free kick hit the crossbar.
But in the end, it was another shutout loss for a club that saw its losing streak extended to five matches. For the Crew, it was their first win in more than a month — when they traveled to RFK Stadium and handed United a 2-1 setback to kick off D.C.’s skid.
Here are the game highlights: