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Apr 27, 2013

Crew-United delayed 50 minutes by fire

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Dominic Oduro, Josh Williams and Federico Higuain scored in the first half to help the Columbus Crew beat D.C. United 3-0 on Saturday night after a videoboard fire delayed the start 50 minutes.

The teams were warming up when the blaze broke out in the top of the videoboard in a speaker cabinet above the south stands about 25 minutes before the scheduled kickoff. Fans were cleared from the area and no one was injured, team president Mark McCullers said after the game.

McCullers said fire department marshals will be on site Monday to determine the cause of the fire and that no estimate of damage is known yet. The Crew plays at home May 4 and McCullers said contingency plans will be made if the 15-year-old videoboard is inoperable.

"We should have some form of audio and video for the game, either our current scoreboard or some other situation," he said.

As for the game, Oduro put the Crew (3-2-3) ahead in the 15th minute, Williams scored off Higuain's corner kick in the 26th, and Higuain a penalty kick in first-half stoppage time.

The Crew had only one goal in the first half in the seven previous games.

"We came out pretty strong," Crew coach Robert Warzycha said. "We talked about scoring the first goal and start the game well and that's what we did."

The game might have turned in the 23rd minute when D.C.'s Perry Kitchen had his goal disallowed after he was called for a foul to nullify the equalizer.

"The call on Perry was wrong. It's 1-1," D.C. coach Ben Olsen said.

Williams then scored 3 minutes later with a half-volley off Higuain's corner kick.

"Even on a day when the referees are not on our side we still have to be good enough to win games," Olsen said. "This isn't about putting blame on the referees."

D.C. (1-6-1) has lost five straight.

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