Chad Marshall scored late in the first half, and the Columbus Crew beat the New York Red Bulls, 1-0, on Saturday in Columbus, Ohio, in a rematch of the 2008 MLS Cup final, which also was won by Columbus.
Marshall scored his second goal of the season off a corner kick by Guillermo Barros Schelotto in the 45th minute. The pair also connected in the same manner for the winning goal in the Crew’s 3-1 MLS Cup victory last fall.
Crew goalkeeper William Hesmer needed to make only one save in his first match in more than two months.
“When we collectively defend like we did tonight, we are going to be hard to break down,” Hesmer told the Columbus Dispatch newspaper. “I think we have best four backs in the league. They do a tremendous job of emergency defending when called upon.”
Hesmer had missed the previous nine games with knee and back injuries.
He went mostly untested Saturday against the Red Bulls, who once went more than 30 minutes without a shot.
“Defensively, it was a great performance,” Crew captain Frankie Hejduk told the Columbus Dispatch. “We limited them to almost nothing, to be honest.”
Columbus (5-3-7) has won four straight at Crew Stadium after opening the season with three draws.
The Crew has not lost in its past 18 home games (13-0-5), including two playoffs wins, since June 8, 2008.
Columbus is tied with Toronto FC for second place in the Eastern Conference, one point behind D.C. United.
New York (2-12-4) had its MLS-record, regular-season road winless streak extended to 22 matches (0-16-6) and is 0-7-2 in its past nine overall.
The Red Bulls, who won two playoff matches on the road to reach the MLS Cup final, have been outscored 17-1 while going 0-9-1 on the road this season.
At Real Salt Lake 3, Toronto FC 0: Clint Mathis had a goal and an assist, and Real Salt Lake won at home in Sandy, Utah, for the first time in more than two months.
Yura Movsisyan and Kyle Beckerman also had goals for Real Salt Lake (5-6-4), which improved to 2-0-2 in June after going 0-4-2 in May.
The victory was Real Salt Lake’s first at home since a 6-0 rout of New England on April 25. Real Salt Lake had an 8-2 advantage in shots on goal, and Toronto (6-6-4) rarely even got into the goal area until late.
Movsisyan had his fourth straight game with either a goal or assist. He opened the scoring in the 21st minute, blowing past Toronto’s Nick Garcia near midfield and sprinting down the center of the field before slotting it past goalkeeper Stefan Frei.
Mathis’ goal was his second on the season and 61st in his lengthy MLS career. He added his team-leading sixth assist on Beckerman’s goal in the 44th minute.
At Chivas USA 1, San Luis 1: Atiba Harris scored in the 88th minute in Carson, Calif., to give Chivas USA a draw with San Luis before both teams were eliminated from the tournament.
San Luis, a Mexican team, needed a victory to advance to the semifinals. Chivas was eliminated earlier Saturday when Tigres beat the Chicago Fire, 2-1.
Alfredo Moreno scored in the 53rd minute on a penalty kick for San Luis after Chivas goalkeeper Lance Parker fouled Jose Reyes inside the penalty area.
Harris powered a header into the back of the net off a corner kick by Bojan Stepanovic inside the area, beating San Luis goalkeeper Adrian Martinez.
In the 37th minute, Chivas lost defender Claudio Suarez with a right calf strain. The club also played without Sacha Kljestan and Jonathan Bornstein, who are with the U.S. national team in South Africa for today’s Confederations Cup final against Brazil.
Tigres UANL 2, at Fire 1: Armando Pulido scored two goals to withstand a late penalty kick from Cuauhtemoc Blanco, and Tigres UANL beat the Chicago Fire in the final match of group play.
The victory in Bridgeview, Ill., helped Tigres UANL advance to next month’s semifinal.
The Fire clinched a berth in the semifinal despite its loss, thanks to a goal differential tiebreaker that allowed the team to advance in its first appearance in the tournament.
Pulido’s first goal came in the 37th minute, when he finished off a nifty string of passes by Jonathan De Leon and Javier Saavedra that split the Fire defense.
Pulido scored again in the 61st minute when he dribbled from 35 yards out and beat defenders Tim Ward and Austin Washington before sliding a shot to the back post and past the reach of Fire goalkeeper Jon Busch.
Blanco gave the Fire all it needed to advance in the 85th minute, when he converted a penalty kick after Pulido tackled Patrick Nyarko in the penalty box.
The Fire needed only to draw or lose by fewer than two goals to advance to the semifinal round, which will be held July 15.