Wanchope's goal helps Fire edge CrewSep 9, 2007 - 3:34 AM COLUMBUS, Ohio (Ticker) -- Under severe weather conditions, the Chicago Fire were able to take advantage in the race for the eighth and final playoff spot.
Paulo Wanchope scored in the 65th minute as the Fire posted a 1-0 victory over the Columbus Crew on Saturday.
Wanchope got behind the Crew defense and his right-footed strike from 25 yards out beat Crew goalkeeper Will Hesmer low to the right side of the goal. Recently signed Columbian Wilman Conde made his MLS debut and assisted on the goal.
"It was a great pass," Wanchope said. "The only thing I had to do was keep calm and score. I just tried to concentrate on where to put the ball and it was good for the team and good for me."
Chicago (8-10-5, 29 points) leapfrogs past Columbus (6-8-10, 28 points) and the Colorado Rapids (7-9-7, 28 points) in the standings.
"All week we worked very hard on the tactical side of things because we knew that today could be the decisive moment for us," Fire coach Juan Carlos Osorio said. "I think we worked well, limiting a very good team from coming forward. We also gave them very few scoring chances."
Chicago also has a game advantage in the head-to-head competition over both the Crew and the Rapids.
"It feels great to get the win, we're improving," Wanchope added. "It was very important to win this game, it was like it was the final game."
The Crew are now 0-3-3 in their last six matches while the Fire are 3-2-1 in their last six.
"Obviously this was an important and pivotal game," Crew coach Sigi Schmid said. "I can't fault our guys for their effort. But all that matters is the score and they are on top on the scoreboard."
Columbus also has had little home success against Chicago, falling to 0-4-2 in its last six games against the Fire in Crew Stadium.
"It was a game we needed to win, obviously, and also get three points at home but we didn't do it," Crew defenseman Frankie Hejduk said. "We are in a little rut right now and we have to find a way to get results, we're just not doing it right now."
This contest was delayed in the 39th minute for 32 minutes due to severe thunderstorms. The entire game was played in a steady, heavy rain.
The Fire had four shots on goal while the Crew had five chances at the net.
COLUMBUS 0 FINAL
Sep 8 9:59 PM
- MLS UPDATE
CHICAGO GOAL: Paulo Wanchope in the 65th minute
Fire vs. Crew SCSep 8 9:31 PM
COLUMBUS 0 HALFTIME
Sep 8 8:56 PM
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