The Philadelphia Union entered Columbus needing a road win pull themselves back up in the standings and a win is what they got Wednesday night at MAPFRE Stadium as they managed a 2-1 win against the Columbus Crew.
The best opportunity of the scoreless first half came from the Crew. Justin Meram's cross overshot its target but it found its way to Ethan Finlay whose diving header was saved well by an adjusting Andre Blake. For the Union, their best first half opportunity came when a Fabian Herbers tame one-time shot was easily smothered by Steve Clark. Despite Columbus getting the better first half opportunity, the Union as a whole appeared more threatening overall, and that would translate to the second half.
In the 60th minute, Tranquillo Barnetta's flick found Chris Pontius who passed it to Herbers on the edge of the box. Herbers's first shot was blocked by Hector Jimenez but Herbers was fortunate enough that the ball bounced directly back towards his right foot. Herbers capitalized on his bit of good luck by firing the ball past the defense and burying it past Clark into the back of the net. It was the first goal of the game and it put the Union up 1-0.
The 73rd minute saw a bit of controversy as the Columbus Crew found an equalizer. A free kick from the corner sent into the box went to the head of Tony Tchani whose header was met with a volleyball set from Blake. The ball deflected off the cross bar then fell down to Adam Jahn who nutmeg'd the ball over the line at least according to the official who called it a goal. Difficult replay angles proved to be inconclusive one way or the other as to whether or not the ball crossed the line, and without goalline technology or a perfect replay angle, it will be difficult to ever know for sure.
Whether or not it was a goal though ultimately proved inconsequential because literally seconds after the broadcast came back from replay, Keegan Rosenberry is burying the ball into the back of the net. What fully happened was not clear until the replay, and when the replay came it illustrated a perfect team goal. Barnetta had passed it to the outside to Roland Alberg and Alberg then passed it back to Barnetta who played the ball through to Keegan Rosenberry. Rosenberry had made a great run into the box and put the ball past Clark culminating a beautiful team goal to put the Union up 2-1.
The Union almost got themselves a third goal as well. Alberg played a through ball to Barnetta, but the pass was inches away from him and drifted harmlessly away from the Union attacker. And while that third goal never came for the Unioin, the Crew never got the equalizer either and the Union gladly walked out of MAPFRE Stadium with all three points.
Up next for the Union is a rather quick turnaround as they play this Saturday night at Talen Energy Stadium against their former Eastern Conference rivals Sporting Kansas City.