Columbus Crew SC 1, Philadelphia Union 0 | 2018 MLS Match Recap
All it took was one tap-in goal and another stingy defensive effort for Columbus Crew SC to remain unbeaten in their last four games.
The Union have lost four of their last five games — all shutout losses — and have not won in 16 consecutive road matches dating back to last May.
Crew SC turned up the offensive pressure after the break after a quiet first half from both sides, and goalkeeper Zack Steffen — a former Union academy player — preserved the shutout with a big 90th-minute save on CJ Sapong.
- 53' — CLB — Gyasi Zardes WATCH
THE BIG PICTURE: Despite a three-game losing streak last month, Crew SC (5-3-3) remain right near the top of the East after back-to-back shutouts, including this past weekend's gutsy 10-man effort vs. Seattle. The Union (2-5-2), meanwhile, are sputtering through a three-game road swing that culminates in Montreal on Saturday with the team in desperate need of points.
MOMENT OF THE MATCH: It wasn’t the toughest of the six goals Zardes has scored in his first season with Columbus but it certainly proved to be timely. After Harrison Afful, who rifled a shot off the post in the first half, hit a cross that Union goalkeeper Andre Blake swatted away, Cristian Martinez beat Keegan Rosenberry to the ball and played it across the middle that Blake again got his hands on. But Zardes was left wide open right in front of the net for the easy tap in.
MAN OF THE MATCH: Zardes and Martinez were both effective offensively, and Wil Trapp helped control the game in the midfield, but Steffen was perhaps most responsible for making sure Columbus got all three points with his big late stop. He finished with three saves, two of which came in the game’s final 10 minutes.