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Columbus wins again; can the Crew sneak back into things?

Toronto FC v Columbus Crew

COLUMBUS, OH - AUGUST 22: Federico Higuain #33 of the Columbus Crew chases down a loose ball in the first half against Toronto FC on August 22, 2012 at Crew Stadium in Columbus, Ohio. Higuain had a goal and an assist in the Crew’s 2-1 win over Toronto FC. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)

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Ordinarily, a win at home over Toronto is nothing a proud franchise will hang its hat on.

But for the Columbus Crew, Saturday night’s 2-0 win over hapless TFC deserves just a bit of comment.

Start here: Two weeks ago the Crew stood with one foot in the playoff grave and the other on the proverbial banana peel. They had just about fallen too far out of an Eastern Conference race where seven other clubs were ahead, all scrapping mightily for the five post-season spots available.

But last week’s win over the New York Red Bulls combined with Saturday’s victory at Crew Stadium give the men in yellow six points over the last two weeks. Columbus is still in 8th place, and there is still plenty of ground to cover, but they are crawling right up behind Chicago now.

The other thing to note is Federico Higuain’s rise over the last two weeks. He finished off last week’s Round 24 win with that brilliant goal, the shrewd and skillful chip over goalkeeper Luis Robles.

Saturday, Higuain hit both goals in the victory over Ryan Nelsen’s Reds. Remember, it was at this point in the calendar a year ago where the Argentien attacker put the Crew offense on his back and nearly carried the club into the playoffs.

Things get tougher next week as the Crew travels into Real Salt Lake, and the Western Conference leaders just do not lose often at Rio Tinto Stadium. A tie would surely do, especially with two home dates coming up after that.