The Philadelphia Union fell behind early, but mustered up a strong response en route to adding three more points to their Eastern Conference lead.
The Union picked up a 3-2 victory over Columbus Crew SC at Talen Energy Stadium in Chester, Pennsylvania on Wednesday, extending their undefeated run to eight games (3-0-5). Philadelphia fell behind , after just 14 minutes, but Chris Pontius negated Ola Kamara's opener shortly thereafter. Vincent Nogueira and Fabian Herbers then struck in the second half, with Herbers' beauty being his first MLS goal.
Crew SC were already trailing 2-1 when they lost substitute and former Union forward Conor Casey to a controversial red card in the 77th minute. Columbus still made things interesting late after the debuting Cristian Martinez found the back of the net in the 92nd minute, but did not have enough time to try and find an equalizer.
The victory sends Philadelphia into the Copa America Centenario break leading the East with a 6-3-5 record (23 points). Columbus remain in ninth after falling to 3-5-5.
- 14' - CLB - Ola Kamara (Ethan Finlay)
- 21' - PHI - Chris Pontius (Sebastien Le Toux)
- 57' - PHI - Vincent Nogueira (Chris Pontius)
- 84' - PHI - Fabian Herbers (Ilsinho)
- 90'+3' - CLB - Cristian Martinez (Ethan Finlay)
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- OPEN AFFAIR: The Union and Crew SC both came out aggressively in this one, and the game was end-to-end for much of the 90 minutes. Philadelphia looked more dangerous early, but Columbus also managed to threaten through Finlay, Kamara, and Justin Meram. The two sides continued to exchange blows in the second half, and finishing with a combined 30 shots on the night.
- PRODUCTIVE PONTIUS: Philadelphia were able to dig themselves out of the early hole they fell into in large part because of the play of Pontius. He not only scored the equalizer in the 21st minute via a deflection, but also assisted Nogueira's go-ahead goal. Pontius now has three goals and three assists in his last eight games.
- ROUGH RETURN: Surely, Casey did not envision his welcome-back party going like this. Making just his second appearance for Crew SC and playing in the same stadium that he called home for three seasons, Casey lasted all of three minutes before referee Robert Sibiga sent the veteran forward for an early shower. Casey was ejected for what was deemed violent conduct on Keegan Rosenberry, but even the Union rookie looked surprised by the call.