The Columbus Crew as expected beat the Kansas City Wizards 2-0 to win their Eastern Conference semifinal Saturday. The Crew, the top seed in the MLS Cup, extended their home-unbeaten streak to 10 games and will meet the Chicago Fire in the conference final.
The Crew got rolling earlier when Brad Evans put them one up after only seven minutes. The goal settled the nerves of the Crew players and fans, who were looking for their first playoff win in more than six years.
“B.C. (Brian Carroll) just lifted his head, picked me out, and played a nice ball, I think it was over Conrad,” Evans said. “It kind of turned him around a bit. As soon as the ball hit the ground, I saw Hartman out of the corner of my eye. (My) only option really was to put it up high. Luckily, it took a good bounce.”
Columbus put the game out of reach early in the second half when Robbie Rogers knocked in a cross from Alejandro Moreno. “It was a great ball. I just had to keep it on target,” Rogers said. “Both goals came at important times. The first set the tone. The second made them change their formation and it was easier for us to get the ball. They’re heads kind of dropped after that.”
The Columbus Crew are now 90 minutes away from reaching the MLS Cup Final for the first time in the club’s existence. The match-up with the Fire will take place this coming Thursday ( November 13) with a 7:30 kick-off.
Columbus won the regular season series with two wins and a 3-3 tie in Columbus on July 17 and I expect them to defeat the Fire this Thursday and go onto their first MLS Cup.