CHESTER, PA (July 26, 2017) – The Philadelphia Union return home for a home and home series game against Columbus Crew SC. The two teams faced each other earlier this week on Wednesday in Columbus, OH. The game would be a 1-0 win for the Crew. The game saw no shots on goal for the Union. Barely any were attempted as well. If the Union were to lose this game tonight, they would trail the Crew for the final playoff spot by eleven points. A huge margin to say the least. Again, it would be a must win game for the Union at home.
Marcus Epps makes his second straight start for the club, as Chris pontiffs is still out on international duty with U.S.A.
Philadelphia Union Explode for 3-0 Win Against Columbus Crew SC
Right away the Crew had multiple chances to score. A pass back to John McCarthy led to a miscommunication between him and Jack Elliot which led to a dangerous chance for Columbus’ Kekuta Manneh. McCarthy slid and knocked the ball far out of bounds. In the few minutes ensuing, Columbus had good chances but could not capitalize.
In the 20th minute, we had the most interesting assist for a monster of a goal. The ball was scrambled inside Columbus’ box. C.J Sapong attempted a bicycle kick, which wound up at the feet of Ilsinho who fired home the volley to give the Union the 1-0 lead. That would be for Ilsinho his third goal of the year. Two of them off the volley.
Five minutes later, Columbus Crew only had to tap the ball in and it would be noted up. Well its easier said then done. Kekuta Manneh had the defense chopped up and sitting like a duck. His open shot was saved by McCarthy and fell right to the feet of Ola Kamara for Columbus. All he had to do was tap it. He decide to put some power behind it and sent the ball crashing into the cross bar. Columbus couldn’t clean up their own mess and was left without a goal. Still 1-0 Union.
The 35th minute brought pandemonium. C.J. Sapong was through on goal when he was shoved in the back by Columbus’ Jonathan Mensah. He was quickly shown the red and a host of Crew players swarmed the ref. In that time, both Sapong and Roland Alberg wanted the penalty kick. Both players this year have perfect PK records. This time and like times before, Alberg was unable to convert. Steffen was able to save it and direct it off the post and out.
The half would end 1-0. The Union clearly in control of the game. Winning in passing percentage and in shots.
The second half would be bountiful for the Union. In the 58th minute, a volley for C.J Sapong from Haris Medunjanin went crashing off the post and was cleaned up by GK Zack Steffan.
Eight minutes later, the frustration for C.J. Sapong would end. A header from him crashed off the post, much to his dismay, but perseverance would win and he knocked the ball with his foot and it finally went in. That would be Sapong’s tenth goal of the year. It would also be his career high total for a single season. He never surpassed nine goals in a single season before.
Not too much longer, the Crew were given another red card. Lalas Abubakar would shove Ilsinho in the back and was subsequently given a red. Crew were now down to nine men against Philly’s eleven.
In the 81st minute, rookie Marcus Epps opened his MLS scoring account to give the Union their last goal of the night to make it 3-0. After that, Charlie Davies would sub on for him and make his first appearance for the Union this year.
The Union are now instead of eleven points out of a playoff spot, are only five now. Still they have the hardest remaining schedule in the league. They go back on the road next Saturday to face the fledgling New England Revolution.