Federico Huguain assisted on the first goal and scored the winner in the 57th minute as the Columbus Crew defeated the 10-man Colorado Rapids 2-1 at Mapfre Stadium on Saturday in Columbus, Ohio.
The Crew (13-9-8, 47 points) won for the first time in three games to remain fourth in the Eastern Conference.
Colorado (6-17-6, 24 points), which has lost five straight, played for the first time since being eliminated for contention in the Western Conference.
The Rapids lost defender Deklan Wynne to a red card after he kneed Pedro Santos from behind in the 51st minute. Higuain shortly thereafter got his fifth goal. Milton Valenzuela cut in from the left side, and his pass was deflected to Higuain at the penalty spot, where he calmly struck the ball.
The Crew took the lead in the 17th minute on the 50th career goal by Gyasi Zardes. He scored his 16th of the season to tie his personal best from the 2014 season with Los Angeles Galaxy.
On the play, Higuain drew the defense on a flick with the outside of his right foot. Zardes ran onto the ball and scored against goalkeeper Tim Howard as the Rapids players looked for an offside call.
The Rapids then snapped a 394-minute goalless streak with a stunning free kick by Shkelzen Gashi on the unsettled Crew defense in the 26th minute to tie the score.
Colorado equalized when the Crew, goalkeeper Zack Steffen in particular, were still setting the wall for the restart. Gashi wasted no time and fired from distance as Steffen was late to the shot, resulting in the forward’s second goal of the season.
An announced crowd of 19,121 was a season high for the Crew.
On Sept. 29, the Crew host the fifth-place Philadelphia Union while the Rapids play the Sounders in Seattle.
—Field Level Media