The game in 100 words (or less): For four and a half months of the 2015 MLS season (July 15), Columbus Crew SC went without a single victory away from home. Following that mid-summer day in Chicago, Gregg Berhalter’s side went on to win six of their final eight road games, closing out their regular-season road schedule with a 2-0 victory over (then-)second-place Toronto FC on Saturday. Crew SC’s latest road triumph, which came via goals scored by Ethan Finlay and Federico Higuain, not only clinches their playoff place, but moves the Black and Gold past three other sides (TFC, D.C. United and New England Revolution) and into second place in the Eastern Conference (for the time being). TFC slip down to third, still two points clear of fifth in their quest to host their knockout round playoff game in on Oct. 28 or 29. Crew SC close out the regular season vs. D.C. next Sunday, while TFC are away to Montreal Impact.
Three moments that mattered
40′ — Finlay turns one home before halftime — Higuain played the out-swinging corner kick into the TFC penalty area, Tony Tchani headed the ball toward the back post, where Finlay was waiting to turn home his 10th goal of the 2015 season (to go with 13 assists).
62′ — Clark goes full stretch to deny Giovinco — Giovinco’s free kicks are otherworldly. Sure, Steve Clark got two hands to this one and pushed it wide, but let’s admire precision, the power, the movement, everything Giovinco puts on every attempt on goal from a dead ball.
90+1′ — Higuain chips a beauty for 2-0 — Higuain used to do stuff like this practically every week for Crew SC, before Kei Kamara arrived on the scene and gobble up 22 goals this season. The Argentine playmaker bodied Josh Williams off the ball, and all in one motion lifted the ball over Joe Bendik and inside the far post. Exquisite.
Man of the match: Federico Higuain
Goalscorers: Finlay (40′), Higuain (90+1′)