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Halftime report: Philadelphia Union 1, Columbus Crew SC 0

The Union grab a lead on a great goal while drama will make the second half anything but dull.

John Rossi - Brotherly Game

A much different start by the Philadelphia Union tonight against Columbus Crew SC, as they go into the locker room up 1-0.

Disaster almost struck in the third minute when a bad pass forced John McCarthy to come out out of the 18 yard box to do a sliding tackle to clear the ball before the onrushing Kekuta Manneh gets there.

In the ninth minute, Alejandro Bedoya made a nice run down the right wing but Zack Steffan read the cross perfectly and latched on to the ball.

The first fifteen minutes was a continuation of the last match. Neither team was able to establish much of a presence, with the exception of a couple of hard tackles from the Union courtesy of Bedoya and CJ Sapong.

In the 18th minute, Marcus Epps took a shot from the top left corner of the box that bent in and hit off of the outside of the post. Had it been a couple inches to the left it would have undoubtedly gone in, as Steffan was caught rather flat-footed on the shot.

In the 20th minute, the Union were finally able to crack Steffan. Epps went up to kick the ball and missed, and it wound up going to CJ Sapong. Sapong tried a bicycle kick but it went off the side of his foot to Ilsinho who blasted a shot top shelf. Steffan got a hand on it but there was no stopping that shot.

The Union goal really opened up the match. In the 26th minute Columbus had a real chance. Jack Elliott was beaten down the left and John McCarthy came out of his box at the onrushing Ola Kamara. Kamara’s roller was caught by Elliott, who poke it out but only as far as Kekuta Manneh, whose shot rang off of the crossbar and out.

In the 36th minute, the Union played some great passing and Roland Alberg sprung CJ Sapong. Sapong was hauled down in the box by Jonathan Mensah, who was shown a straight red card for denial of a goalscoring opportunity.

After a heated discussion between Alberg and Sapong, Alberg wound up taking the penalty. Steffan managed to get his hand on the Alberg shot enough to push it off of the post and back out.

Oguchi Onyewu and Marcus Epps both had decent shots as the match rolled on but both were blocked by Crew defenders. Manneh had a shot from distance deep in stoppage time but McCarthy was able to square up and punch it out.

Philadelphia Union: John McCarthy; Giliano Wijnaldum, Oguchi Onyewu, Jack Elliott, Ray Gaddis; Haris Medunjanin, Alejandro Bedoya; Marcus Epps, Roland Alberg, Ilsinho; CJ Sapong

Columbus Crew SC: Zack Steffen; Lalas Abubakar, Alex Crognale, Jonathan Mensah; Jukka Raitala, Wil Trapp, Artur, Hector Jimenez; Kekuta Manneh, Justin Meram; Ola Kamara

Scoring: Philadelphia Union - Ilsinho (26’); Columbus Crew SC - None

Disciplinary: Philadelphia Union - Giliano Wijnaldum (Yellow - 31’), Ray Gaddis (Yellow - 39’); Columbus Crew SC - Jonathan Mensah (Red - 35’), Lalas Abubakar (Yellow - 36’)