Fire
Crew SC
1 - 2 Final
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Gaven snaps tie, leads Crew to MLS Cup Final

Nov 14, 2008 - 4:51 AM By Dave Holstein PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

COLUMBUS, Ohio (Ticker) -- The Columbus Crew are going to their first-ever MLS Cup championship.

Eddie Gaven scored in the 55th minute to snap a tie game as the top-seeded Crew scored a pair of unanswered goals to top the second-seeded Chicago Fire, 2-1, in the Eastern Conference championship on Thursday.

The Crew will play the winner of Saturday's Western Conference final between the fourth-seeded New York Red Bulls and third-seeded Real Salt Lake. The MLS Cup Final will be played on November 23 in Carson, California.

"Obviously this is something we have done all season," Columbus coach Sigi Schmid said. "We are very proud and very happy and the crowd and the support were tremendous. The guys are very happy, but our work is not done. We still have one more game to go and now we will focus on that and take it to one more game."

The Fire opened the scoring on a header from Brian McBride in the 29th minute. The former Crew forward sent the ball from the top of the box over goalkeeper Will Hesmer's head for an early 1-0 lead.

"It's always good to get a goal and give your team the lead," McBride said.

It was McBride's 10th career playoff goal. One of the most popular players in Columbus history, McBride was booed heavily by the Crew faithful every time he touched the ball.

"The fans can react however they want," McBride said. "It doesn't change the fact I enjoyed my time here with the city and the organization."

Columbus answered quickly in the second half, as defender Chad Marshall headed in a service off Guillermo Barros Schelotto's direct kick for the equalizer.

"It was a great service by Guillermo and I was able to get up and over McBride and put it in," Marshall said.

Six minutes later, a pair of headers set up Gaven, who faced tight defense inside the box but drilled a shot past goalkeeper Jon Busch and just inside the left post for a 2-1 lead. Schelotto set things up with a header to Alejandro Moreno just outside the 18-yard box. Moreno headed the ball over the top to Gaven, who unleashed a right-footed strike for his first career playoff goal.

"A couple of great headers," Gaven said. "The one by Alejandro over the top was perfect and all I had to do was get a foot on it and I was able to get it in for the lead. It was a great play by those two guys to get me the ball over the top."

Hesmer made his best save of the match in the 73rd minute. He collected another shot from McBride, whose left-footed redirect almost slipped past him Hesmer.

The Crew had fallen short in five previous conference championship appearances, most recently in 2004. The Fire have now fallen in the Eastern Conference championship two years in a row, following last season's loss to the New England Revolution.

"This is absolutely huge," Schmid said. "We talked at halftime about trying to get behind their defense and we also thought we were getting closer on set pieces. Then the first goal is off a set piece and the second goal is Gaven getting played in behind."

Chicago had been the only MLS team that Columbus hadn't beaten this season. The clubs played to a pair of 2-2 draws during the regular season.






  • 27
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    Silversword55 Added 5 roots

    Fire 1, Crew SC 2  FinalNov 13 9:54 PM


  • EASTERN CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIP
    MLS CHICAGO 1
    COLUMBUS 2 FINAL

    Nov 13 9:49 PM


  • EASTERN CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIP
    MLS CHICAGO 1
    COLUMBUS 2 END 2ND HALF

    Nov 13 9:44 PM
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    Fire 1, Crew SC 2  2nd - 88'Nov 13 9:41 PM
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    #1 Cards Fan Added 5 roots

    Fire 1, Crew SC 2  2nd - 65'Nov 13 9:21 PM


  • MLS UPDATE
    CHICAGO 1
    COLUMBUS 2
    COLUMBUS GOAL: Eddie Gaven in the 55th minute

    Fire 1, Crew SC 2  2nd - 55'Nov 13 9:09 PM


  • MLS UPDATE
    CHICAGO 1
    COLUMBUS 1
    CHICAGO CAUTION: Gonzalo Segares in the 48th minute

    Fire 1, Crew SC 1  2nd - 48'Nov 13 9:06 PM


  • MLS UPDATE
    CHICAGO 0
    COLUMBUS 0
    CHICAGO CAUTION: Bakary Soumare in the 22nd minute

    Fire 0, Crew SC 0  1st - 22'Nov 13 9:05 PM


  • MLS UPDATE
    CHICAGO 1
    COLUMBUS 1
    COLUMBUS GOAL: Chad Marshall in the 49th minute

    Fire 1, Crew SC 1  2nd - 49'Nov 13 9:04 PM


  • EASTERN CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIP
    MLS CHICAGO 1
    COLUMBUS 0 HALFTIME

    Fire 1, Crew SC 0  HalfNov 13 9:04 PM


  • MLS UPDATE
    CHICAGO 1
    COLUMBUS 1
    COLUMBUS GOAL: Chad Marshall in the 49th minute

    Fire 1, Crew SC 1  2nd - 49'Nov 13 9:04 PM


  • EASTERN CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIP
    MLS CHICAGO 1
    COLUMBUS 0 HALFTIME

    Fire 1, Crew SC 0  HalfNov 13 9:04 PM


  • MLS UPDATE
    CHICAGO 0
    COLUMBUS 0
    CHICAGO CAUTION: Bakary Soumare in the 22nd minute

    Fire 0, Crew SC 0  1st - 22'Nov 13 9:03 PM


  • EASTERN CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIP
    MLS CHICAGO 1
    COLUMBUS 0 10:00 LEFT, 1ST HALF

    Fire 1, Crew SC 0  1st - 35'Nov 13 9:01 PM


  • EASTERN CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIP
    MLS CHICAGO 0
    COLUMBUS 0 40:00 LEFT, 1ST HALF

    Fire 0, Crew SC 0  1st - 5'Nov 13 9:00 PM


  • EASTERN CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIP
    MLS CHICAGO 1
    COLUMBUS 0 HALFTIME

    Nov 13 9:00 PM


  • MLS UPDATE
    CHICAGO 1
    COLUMBUS 0
    CHICAGO GOAL: Brian McBride in the 29th minute

    Fire 1, Crew SC 0  1st - 29'Nov 13 9:00 PM


  • EASTERN CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIP
    MLS CHICAGO 0
    COLUMBUS 0 44:00 LEFT, 1ST HALF

    Fire 0, Crew SC 0  1st - 1'Nov 13 8:59 PM


  • EASTERN CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIP
    MLS CHICAGO 1
    COLUMBUS 0 10:00 LEFT, 1ST HALF

    Fire 1, Crew SC 0  1st - 35'Nov 13 8:59 PM


  • EASTERN CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIP
    MLS CHICAGO 0
    COLUMBUS 0 44:00 LEFT, 1ST HALF

    Fire 0, Crew SC 0  1st - 1'Nov 13 8:59 PM


  • EASTERN CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIP
    MLS CHICAGO 1
    COLUMBUS 0 HALFTIME

    Nov 13 8:58 PM


  • MLS UPDATE
    CHICAGO 1
    COLUMBUS 0
    CHICAGO GOAL: Brian McBride in the 29th minute

    Fire 1, Crew SC 0  1st - 29'Nov 13 8:58 PM


  • EASTERN CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIP
    MLS CHICAGO 0
    COLUMBUS 0 44:00 LEFT, 1ST HALF

    Fire 0, Crew SC 0  1st - 1'Nov 13 8:58 PM


  • EASTERN CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIP
    MLS CHICAGO 1
    COLUMBUS 0 10:00 LEFT, 1ST HALF

    Fire 1, Crew SC 0  1st - 35'Nov 13 8:57 PM


  • EASTERN CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIP
    MLS CHICAGO 0
    COLUMBUS 0 44:00 LEFT, 1ST HALF

    Fire 0, Crew SC 0  1st - 1'Nov 13 8:57 PM


  • EASTERN CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIP
    MLS CHICAGO 1
    COLUMBUS 0 HALFTIME

    Nov 13 8:56 PM


  • MLS UPDATE
    CHICAGO 1
    COLUMBUS 0
    CHICAGO GOAL: Brian McBride in the 29th minute

    Fire 1, Crew SC 0  1st - 29'Nov 13 8:56 PM


  • EASTERN CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIP
    MLS CHICAGO 0
    COLUMBUS 0 44:00 LEFT, 1ST HALF

    Fire 0, Crew SC 0  1st - 1'Nov 13 8:56 PM


  • EASTERN CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIP
    MLS CHICAGO 1
    COLUMBUS 0 10:00 LEFT, 1ST HALF

    Fire 1, Crew SC 0  1st - 35'Nov 13 8:55 PM


  • EASTERN CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIP
    MLS CHICAGO 0
    COLUMBUS 0 44:00 LEFT, 1ST HALF

    Fire 0, Crew SC 0  1st - 1'Nov 13 8:55 PM


  • EASTERN CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIP
    MLS CHICAGO 1
    COLUMBUS 0 HALFTIME

    Nov 13 8:41 PM


  • MLS UPDATE
    CHICAGO 1
    COLUMBUS 0
    CHICAGO GOAL: Brian McBride in the 29th minute

    Fire 1, Crew SC 0  1st - 29'Nov 13 8:26 PM