The Crew and Sporting KC traded goals back and forth until Kei Kamara notched the winner in the 80th minute.
After half an hour, Soony Saad hung a long, dragging cross to the opposite flank. Kamara darted away from his makers and pulled the ball out of the air with the outside of his right foot. His left boot drilled a shot into the corner of the net past the onrushing Andy Gruenebaum.
Minutes into the second half, Jairo Arrieta went on a long run, taking on several defenders before tucking home from a tight angle.
Parity remained for two minutes. A Chance Myers cross took a deflection on its way to the top of the box. Claudio Bieler swung his leg at shoulder-height to volley it home.
Again, just minutes later, the Crew hit back. After Columbus cleared out of the box, Federico Higuain played the ball forward. Seth Sinovic intercepted and attempted to lay off the ball to his goalkeeper, but Dominic Oduro zipped ahead to steal the ball and round Jimmy Nielsen for a tap in.
Bieler stuck his head in front of a Crew clearance with 10 minutes remaining in the match and the ball fell kindly. All Kamara had to do was tuck it under Gruenebaum for the winner.