The Fire’s Dan Gargan (left) and the Crew’s Emilio Renteria battle for the ball in the second half. | Jamie Sabau~Getty Images
Updated: July 3, 2012 11:29AM
COLUMBUS, Ohio — Eddie Gaven scored the Columbus Crew’s first goal and assisted on the second by Emilio Renteria as the Crew defeated the Fire 2-1 on Saturday night.
Gaven scored from 19 yards in the ninth minute with a low shot inside the left post.
The Crew (5-4-3) tied May 19 at San Jose and beat Seattle on the road Wednesday before improving to 3-0-2 in the last five games in front of 16,024 fans at Crew Stadium.
More than 600 in attendance were Fire fans. For the second consecutive season, the club covered the cost of travel for 10 buses to make the seven-hour journey to Columbus.
“It was not the best game for us, but the most important thing is we got a good result,” Crew defender Sebastian Miranda said.
Gaven helped make it 2-0 in the 43rd by passing to a posting Renteria, who shirked defender Austin Berry and put the ball into the left corner.
“I did what the coaches wanted me to do: to hold the ball and turn,” Renteria said.
For the rookie Berry, it was an on-field lesson.
“That was bad positioning on my part,” he said. “He used his body well. He took me out of position. It was a good learning opportunity for me.”
Berry got a measure of revenge when he headed a service by Daniel Paladini in the 72nd minute.
“We started the first half pretty well,” Crew coach Robert Warzycha said. “The second half, they just pushed us in the back and we defended the forwards and the corner kicks.”
Goalkeeper Sean Johnson made saves on Renteria in the 80th and Nemanja Vukovic a minute later to keep the Fire (5-4-3) within striking distance.
“It was a disappointing first half going down two,” Fire captain Logan Pause said. “It was a pretty big hill to climb.”
The Fire’s road swing continues with its fourth game in 10 days Tuesday, when the club begins the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup against the Michigan Bucks in Pontiac, Mich.