For the second time this season the Chicago Fire has gone 0-3 on a three-game road trip.
The Fire continued limping towards the end of the season with a 3-0 loss at the Columbus Crew on Saturday.
The loss followed defeats on the road at New York City FC and Seattle. It is the Fire’s fourth loss in five games.
Harrison Afful gave Columbus (8-12-11, 35 points) an early lead with a wicked knuckling shot in the eighth minute. Mohammed Saeid played a short corner to an unmarked Afful on the corner of the box. He lined it up and Sean Johnson was unable to keep out the swerving ball.
This is the third straight match the Fire (6-16-9, 27 points) have conceded a goal from a corner kick and the fourth straight match the Fire have allowed a goal from a set piece.
Columbus added two goals in the first 15 minutes of the second half. Justin Meram cut inside on Khaly Thiam in the box to score in the 50th minute and former Fire midfielder Dilly Duka scored on a counter in the 59th minute.
The Fire had 53 percent of the possession in the first half, but had no shots on target. The Fire finished with one shot on target, a long distance drive from John Goossens that Steve Clark saved and eventually smothered the rebound.
David Arshakyan made his second start in a Fire uniform. It was the first time he started alongside fellow forward Michael de Leeuw. Arshakyan was subbed off in the 63rd minute after registering one shot, which was off target.
Columbus was able to get a comfortable win despite not starting key players in Ola Kamara and Wil Trapp. Both subbed on in the second half after the score was already 3-0.
These two teams will meet again on Oct. 13 at Toyota Park. First, both will have an off week due to international matches.