Columbus, OH (Sports Network) - Ryan Finley scored his first MLS goal and added an assist as the Columbus Crew earned interim head coach Brian Bliss his first victory after posting a 2-0 result over the Houston Dynamo on Wednesday at Crew Stadium.
Bliss became the man in charge on Monday after the Crew parted ways with former boss Robert Warzycha, who was in his fifth season at the helm, but the club has struggled this year and looks unlikely to make the postseason.
Needing three points to stay in the playoff hunt, Houston came out on the front foot and had several opportunities within the first 20 minutes as forward Will Bruin got behind the Columbus backline several times, but couldn't find the back of the net.
After starting slowly in the opening 45 minutes, the Crew broke the deadlock two minutes after the break when Bernardo Anor got the play started with an over-the-top ball to Justin Meram on the left side of the box. He took a touch and slid it across to Finley, who smashed it into the roof of the net.
The Crew finished the job in the 74th minute when Meram collected a loose ball just outside the area, made a quick cut to his left and fired it across his body into the far right corner, just past the outstretched arm of Houston goalkeeper Tally Hall.
The result keeps the Crew's faint playoff hopes alive as they are five points behind New England for the fifth and final postseason berth in the Eastern Conference, while Houston remains on 37 points.