FRISCO, Texas (AP) – Columbus scoring leader Dominic Oduro had a goal and an assist to lead the Crew to a 4-2 victory over FC Dallas on Sunday night.
The Crew (12-14-5) moved into a tie with New England for sixth place, a point away from the Eastern Conference's final playoff berth with three matches remaining.
''The ball's in our court, putting pressure on those teams ahead of us,'' interim Columbus coach Brian Bliss said.
FC Dallas (10-10-10) remained eighth in the Western Conference, five points out of fifth.
''I think our results are deserving (of criticism),'' FC Dallas coach Schellas Hyndman said, ''and not just tonight. At the end of the day, it's all about results.
''Our fans have to hold us higher, as we should be holding ourselves higher.''
Columbus took a 2-0 lead on goals by Federico Higuain (his 11th) and Jairo Arrieta (third) within the first 17 minutes.
Higuain moved in alone to maneuver FC Dallas keeper Raul Fernandez out of position. Defender George John moved in to the goal and stopped Higuain's shot, but the ball bounced off of him and into the net in the ninth minute.
Oduro set up Arrieta with a crossing pass in the 17th. He put the ball on his left foot and lifted it over Fernandez and off the crossbar. The ball bounced down, then back up into the top of the net.
FC Dallas came back four minutes later when Blas Perez took a long pass from Mauro Diaz. Goalkeeper Matt Lampson came out, but Perez booted the ball past him into the right corner for his 11th goal.
The Crew restored their two-goal margin in the 44th minute when Oduro picked up the ball from Chad Barson near midfield, beat two defenders and moved into the penalty area to send a shot past Fernandez. Oduro's 12th goal was unassisted.
''Six of (Oduro's) goals have come from the wide right midfield and six up top. That shows ourselves, the team and the league he can score from anywhere,'' Bliss said.
FC Dallas moved within 3-2 during the 54th minute when Diaz dribbled past a defender and Lampson to chip the ball in from near the left goalpost.
Columbus' Bernardo Anor put the game away with his fourth goal in the 86th minute, assisted by Ethan Finlay.
''It was pretty relieving for the team,'' Anor said. ''We were ahead just 3-2 in the second period, but that goal gave us a little more space.''