The Chicago Fire go in search of a crucial three points on Saturday when the club welcomes the Montreal Impact to Toyota Park hoping to keep its playoff chances alive.
The Fire come into their penultimate home game a point out of fifth place in the division and the final playoff spot, following their 3-0 loss at Columbus last weekend.
The Crew opened the scoring on the quarter-hour as Federico Higuain came away from a scrum with possession and found Jairo Arrieta, whose lunging toe poke put Dominic Oduro into space. He then struck a low shot toward the far post that got past Chicago goalkeeper Sean Johnson.
Columbus extended its lead to 2-0 thanks to a foul on Arrieta, who beat Johnson to a perfect through ball from Tony Tchani and was taken down in the box. Higuain sent Johnson the wrong way on the resulting spot kick.
The Crew then put the result to bed seven minutes later when Tchani found Bernardo Anor on a diagonal ball into the right side of the area that he slotted under Johnson and into the net.
The result saw the Fire's road losing streak extended to four matches and have won just one game overall in their last five contests.
"We were coming from behind. Really, we pushed the game. We had chances to tie the game and it doesn't go your way and then they got a PK. The team left everything on the field. I feel good about the group. We have to regroup and get ready for next week," said Fire head coach Frank Klopas.
Montreal, meanwhile, enters the match in need of a bounce-back performance having lost two consecutive matches at Saputo Stadium, including a 3-0 loss to Vancouver Whitecaps FC.
Whitecaps FC put a nose in front in the seventh minute after Nigel Reo-Coker sent in a cross from the right, Impact defender Hassoun Camara slipped in the penalty area and handled the ball. From the resulting penalty kick, Kenny Miller converted low to goalkeeper Troy Perkins' right.
Vancouver then broke it open with a pair of goals from substitute Camilo inside the final few minutes to claim the victory, which sees the Impact drop back-to- back home contests for the first time this season.
"We started off the game well and then had to adjust our game after that unlucky penalty shot," said Impact head coach Marco Schallibaum.
"In the first half we had troubles getting into those last 20 meters. In the second half, we had lots of opportunities; we pushed a lot and tried hard. I think we were closer to a tie at the beginning of the second half, but with these goals, it came down to a hard loss for the team."