BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. — Peter Lowry and Brian McBride scored goals and Andrew Dykstra made three saves to lead the Chicago Fire to a 2-0 MLS victory over the Columbus Crew on Friday night.
The win kept alive Chicago’s slim hopes to gain the final MLS Cup playoff spot. The Fire (8-11-8) have 32 points with three matches, and a maximum of nine points, remaining.
San Jose, occupying the last playoff spot, has 40 points with four matches left. Complicating matters, Kansas City and Toronto are between the Earthquakes and the Fire.
Lowry, playing only his second match of the last 16, opened the scoring in the 30th minute. He found running room on the right side and punted a 10-yard shot past diving goalkeeper William Hesmer. The pass was sent his way by midfielder Patrick Nyarko, a late addition to the starting lineup. Nyarko’s long run some 30 seconds earlier, one that nearly resulted in a goal, opened up a tight-marking match.
The Fire made it 2-0 when a sliding McBride kicked Nyarko’s pinpoint pass past Hesmer just under eight minutes into the second half.
Columbus, 0-3-2 in its last five matches, forced the issue in the last 26 minutes. Dykstra, who picked up his fourth shutout of the season, made a hard kick save on Frankie Hejduk and a diving stop on Kevin Burns.