John Tolkin scored in the 33rd minute for his first MLS goal and the New York Red Bulls beat the Columbus Crew 1-0 on Wednesday night.
New York snapped a seven-game winless streak.
Columbus has lost five straight matches — the longest losing streak by a defending champion since the LA Galaxy dropped seven in a row in 2006.
Tolkin, a defender in his 12th MLS start, cut back his defender at the corner of the 6-yard box and sent it through the legs of goalkeeper Eloy Room.
New York goalkeeper Carlos Coronel had his seventh shutout of the season.