Columbus, OH (Sports Network) - The Columbus Crew thrust themselves firmly into the Eastern Conference playoff race on Saturday after coming away with a comfortable 3-0 victory over 10-man Chicago Fire at Crew Stadium.
Coming off a much-needed three-point effort against the Montreal Impact last week, the hosts snagged the early lead just 15 minutes into the match as Dominic Oduro fired it home for his team-leading 11th goal of the campaign.
Things got even better for the Crew in the 29th minute when Fire defender Bakary Soumare was shown a straight red card for a reckless challenge on Columbus' Jairo Arrieta.
The Crew made it 2-0 20 minutes from time after Arrieta was brought down by Chicago goalkeeper Sean Johnson, resulting in a penalty kick which Federico Higuain dispatched with ease.
Columbus finished the job with 14 minutes to play as Bernardo Anor put one past Johnson to make it a comfortable three-goal margin.
The result sees the Crew up to 38 points on the season, just two behind New England for the fifth and final playoff spot in the East, while Chicago remains on 37 points.