Mark Dougherty recorded his second consecutive shutout and Brian West scored his first playoff goal as the Columbus Crew advanced to the MLS Eastern Conference finals with a 2-0 victory over the Tampa Bay Mutiny tonight.
The Crew captured the best-of-three series, two games to none. Columbus will face either D.C. United or Miami in the conference finals starting next weekend. Game 2 in that series, which United leads 1-0, is Sunday in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
West--a Columbia native who played at the University of Virginia--put the Crew up 1-0 in the 23rd minute when his shot from 15 yards wound up just inside the left post. Jeff Cunningham added a goal in the 88th minute.
Dougherty helped extend his former team's playoff scoring drought to 325 minutes. The goalkeeper made several good saves, including a diving effort on Manny Lagos's 15-yard shot late in the first half.
The Mutiny has dropped six straight playoff games, dating from the 1996 season. Tampa Bay's last postseason goal came on Oct. 5, 1997.
The crowd of 14,392 set a home playoff record for the Mutiny. Columbus midfielder Ansil Elcock missed the game with left knee tendinitis.