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Fire

Fire Topple Crew 2-1

Dominic Oduro #8 of the Chicago Fire and Julius James #26 of the Columbus Crew battle for the ball in an MLS match on June 23, 2012 at Toyota Park in Bridgeview, Illinois. (Photo by David Banks/Getty Images)

Dominic Oduro #8 of the Chicago Fire and Julius James #26 of the Columbus Crew battle for the ball in an MLS match on June 23, 2012 at Toyota Park in Bridgeview, Illinois. (Photo by David Banks/Getty Images)

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BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. (AP) — Marco Pappa and Dominic Oduro scored in the first 26 minutes and the Chicago Fire earned a 2-1 victory over the Columbus Crew on Saturday.

The victory moved the Fire (7-5-3) within three points of third-place New York in the Eastern Conference. Columbus, dominated from the start by the Fire, had entered the game with a six-match unbeaten streak (3-0-3).

The Crew’s last loss was on April 28, 1-0 to Vancouver.

Pappa maneuvered to the edge of the penalty area, and using a screen, ripped a right-footed shot off the hands of diving goalkeeper Andy Gruenbaum in the second minute.

Oduro made it 2-0 in the 26th minute, outrunning a pair of defenders while in control of Sebastian Grazzini’s pass before chipping the ball past Gruenbaum from 15 yards.

Columbus’ Tony Tchani cut the gap to 2-1 in the 36th minute, taking a pass from fellow midfielder Chris Birchall and beating Fire goalkeeper Sean Johnson from 10 yards.

Chicago’s Gonzalo Segares was ejected in the 29th minute when his right foot clipped the right shin of Columbus’ Kevin George while they slid for a loose ball. George remained in the match, while Segares will miss Chicago’s match Friday at Kansas City.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)