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Rate the Union: VAR-ed in Columbus

Andre Blake salvaged a point for the Union after a controversial own goal reversal in Columbus on Saturday night

MLS: Philadelphia Union at Columbus Crew SC Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

With Borek Dockal out of the starting lineup, the Philadelphia Union offense sputtered on Saturday night in Columbus, failing to record a shot on goal, but if not for a controversial VAR decision they would have returned with all three points.

The referee ruled that Cory Burke had pushed Lalas Abubakar before getting to a ball in the box that was deflected into the Crew’s net by Jonathan Mensah. Burke did make contact, but Abubakar was back peddling and appeared to have gone down easily.

Still, the goal did not stand and it wasn’t until the closing minutes of the game that the first shot on goal was registered. Fortunately for the Union, Andre Blake was able to make a fine save to deny Harrison Afful and preserve the road point.

Credit for him only facing one shot on goal should go to the Union back line anchored by Mark McKenzie and Auston Trusty. McKenzie returned to the starting XI for the suspended Jack Elliott and had one of his best games yet for the blue and gold. Trusty also showed a lot of poise in his return to the pitch after last Wednesday night’s U.S. Open Cup final nightmare. Fabinho’s return to the starting XI also looked like the right decision for head coach Jim Curtin.

Dockal did sub into the game in the final 10 minutes but wasn’t able to put much of a stamp on the game. Ditto for Jay Simpson and the rest of the Union attack, which wasn’t anything to write home about on the night.

What did you think of the individual performances in Columbus? Weigh in with up or down votes on the Ranker website or in the form below.