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Birchall fires Columbus past DCU

Jul 22, 2012 - 1:45 AM Columbus, OH (Sports Network) - Chris Birchall helped Columbus Crew snap a two-game losing streak Saturday, nabbing the lone goal in a 1-0 defeat of D.C. United at Crew Stadium.

The telling strike came early on in the second half as Birchall latched on to a brilliant through ball from Jairo Arrieta and fired a powerful shot past Joe Willis for his first goal since joining the Crew back in May.

D.C. came close to equalizing on a couple of occasions as Dwayne De Rosario had a goal pulled back for offsides in the 50th minute and Long Tan struck the woodwork two minutes from time.

But Columbus, having entered Saturday's match with four goals conceded in its last two league matches, held on to the clean sheet thanks to some organized defensive play, led by goalkeeper Andy Gruenebaum.

The Crew (7-7-4) improve to 25 points on the season and return to action July 28 with a trip to Livestrong Sporting Park to take on Sporting Kansas City. United (10-7-3) has a friendly match with French side PSG slated for next Saturday, but returns to league play the following week in another meeting with Columbus.