In its final home match of the season, Columbus Crew SC closed out 2016 at MAPFRE Stadium with a 3-0 rout of the Chicago Fire in front of a sold out crowd of 20,034.
Harrison Afful (8th), Justin Meram (50th) and Dilly Duka (59th) all found the back of the net for the Black & Gold in the victory. Steve Clark had a quiet night in goal for Columbus, notching just one save en route to recording his eighth shutout of the season.
Crew SC's offense dominated the Men in Red throughout the 90 minutes, racking up 12 shots, seven corners and completing 82 percent of its passes while forcing 25 Fire clearances.
And just eight minutes into the match, Columbus took the lead for good.
On an early corner, Mohammed Saied played a short ball to Afful just outside the Chicago penalty area. The defender settled, and fired a knuckling rocket into the top left corner past Fire goalkeeper Sean Johnson to put the Black & Gold ahead into halftime, 1-0.
Crew SC produced a number of chances to add to its lead in the first half — and as the second 45 began, it wasted no time adding insurance.
In the 50th minute, Meram received a through ball from Dilly Duka into the Fire penalty area, took one cut to the right, and powered it past Johnson into the bottom left corner for his fifth goal of the season to double his side's lead.
Nine minutes later, Duka added his own, as a beautiful ball from Saied was put away by a clinical finish by the midfielder for his first goal of 2016 to make it three goals and three points for the Black & Gold on Saied's second assist of the night.
Columbus Crew SC is off next week due to the FIFA international break, but returns to the pitch on October 13, as it travels to Bridgeview, Illinois, for another clash with the Fire. Kickoff from Toyota Park is set for 8:30 p.m.