Ola Kamara opened the scoring in an all-too familiar minute for RSL fans, finishing past Nick Rimando in the 15th minute after some particularly poor defending from the home side.
RSL’s first good opportunity of the match came in the 23rd minute, when Danilo Acosta fed Luis Silva a delicious cross, but Silva, despite a good first touch, couldn't score on a volley inside the box, putting it outside the near post.
The 27th minute saw Jefferson Savarino nearly beat Columbus goalkeeper Zack Steffen after receiving a sumptuous chipped pass from Luis Silva on the right wing.
In the 49th minute, referee Stott whistled a handball call on Columbus Crew defender Josh Williams inside the box; Joao Plata finished the ensuing penalty with precision, sending it to the unsavable upper corner. The handball was forced after a good spell of attacking play spearheaded by RSL playmaker Albert Rusnak.
Then, only four minutes later, RSL capitalized again, with Jefferson Savarino beating Steffen with a brilliant run and even smarter finish. Luis Silva fed Savarino a perfect pass from the midfield stripe.
RSL ran rampant in the ensuing minutes, with Joao Plata beating Steffen with some trickery but failing to finish past a Columbus player stood on the goal line.
In the 60th minute, Savarino lost possession inside the RSL half, and a Columbus goal came not long after. An initial shot beat Rimando but clanked off the crossbar, and Kamara finished neatly for a brace.
RSL nearly regained the lead in the 77th minute, but Rusnak’s rebounded off the far post and nestled neatly at the feet of a Crew defender. Yura Movsisyan nearly finished from a similar position in the 82nd minute, with his shot just missing the far post.
An 88th minute yellow card was handed to substitute Sebastian Saucedo for simulation at the top of the box, providing some controversy in the dying minutes.