BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. -- Here is a quick look at the Chicago Fire's 3-2 victory against the Columbus Crew on Saturday at Toyota Park:
How it happened: Fire rookie defender Jalil Anibaba scored his first MLS goal in the 11th minute to give Chicago a 1-0 lead. Anibaba headed the ball into the net off of Pavel Pardo's delivery into the box. In the 30th minute, Anibaba came up again on the offensive end with a difficult header toward the far right corner of the goal for a 2-0 lead. Fellow defender Cory Gibbs assisted from the left side. Columbus' Renteria volleyed in a goal in the 72nd minute to cut Chicago's lead to 2-1. Columbus' Dilly Duka tied the score at 2-2 in the 80th minute. But the Fire's Diego Chaves came right back in the 81st with a rebound goal to take a 3-2 lead. Chaves scored his second game-winner in as many games
What it means: With the Fire knowingly out of the playoff picture heading into the match, Chicago ended its 2011 season with a .500 record at 9-9-16 (43 points). The Crew fall to 13-13-8 (47 points), but prepare for the playoffs. Chicago missed the postseason for the second straight year and the third time in 14 seasons.
Outside the box: With Anibaba's two goals and Gibbs' assist, Fire defenders provided six goals and seven assists this season.
Up next: The Fire missed the postseason for a second straight year so the focus now is on the offseason and 2012. Chicago will submit its 11-player protected list to MLS on Nov. 21, as Montreal Impact head coach and his expansion club will select 10 players during the Nov. 23 MLS Expansion Draft.