The Columbus Crew ended an eight-game winless streak in MLS with their first victory since March as they beat Chicago Fire 2-0 on Saturday night. Here are our key takeaways:
1. Ethan Finlay is quick, and dangerous…and quick.
The 23-year-old made his first appearance of the season, starting on the right-wing in place of Dominic Oduro and made an instant impact on the game. He opened the scoring for the Crew after he flew past Chicago defender Greg Cochrane to latch on to a fantastic pass by Federico Higuain, and slotted in from a tight angle after rounding goalkeeper Sean Johnson. It was his second of the season after he scored in last week’s 3-3 draw with Portland. His incredible pace was a threat all night and he is certainly dangerous.
2. Federico Higuain is playing excellent football.
The Argentine added to his wonderful performance last week by grabbing two assists against the Fire to ensure his team would finally win a game. His first past to Finlay was weighted perfectly, as was his pass with the outside of the boot to Jairo Arrieta, who coolly slotted through the legs of Johnson to make it 2-0 early on. Higuain is making everything tick for the Crew and they will pick up more and more wins if he continues in the form he is showing.
(Photo: Higuain is putting in some inspired performances for the Crew)
3. A depleted Chicago really missed Mike Magee.
Magee missed the game with a late calf injury, and Chicago were not the attacking threat they have been without him. Quincy Amarikwa was partnered by Juan Luis Anangono up front, but the two couldn’t click as Magee and Amarikwa have been. Anangono had a glancing header come off the post in what was the Fire’s best chance of the game, but they were flat and below par all night. They will hope Magee returns in time for their game against LA Galaxy next week.
Columbus will want to add to their overdue win when they travel to Toronto next weekend. The Crew now sit in fifth place in the Eastern Conference on 16 points, four higher than the Fire who fall to eighth.
Highlights via MLS on YouTube: