The Columbus Crew emerged on Sunday with a 2-1 win against the MLS-best Philadelphia Union on a cold and snowy evening at MAPFRE Stadium. The Union was in control for a good chunk of the match, but gave up the lead in the first half after Artur scored on a shot from outside the penalty box. Philadelphia drew level in the second half thanks to a penalty kick conceded by Jonathan Mensah and the Union looked like the team was primed to score again.
But, the Crew had the final say, as Krisztian Nemeth came on for Gyasi Zardes late in the game and scored quickly off of an assist from Luis Diaz (and the wind). Eloy Room made some big saves to close out the match and secure a much-needed win for the Black & Gold. The consensus from fans was that it was an ugly game, but they were more than thrilled to see the Crew seize a victory over the best team in the Eastern Conference
The match in one tweet:
As said, it was a cold and snowy evening in Columbus, but fans still turned out to support their club. Many more were watching at home as the Crew played on national television.
Match day! Let's put those bad performances behind us and get these 3 big points today @ColumbusCrewSC!— Terry Barber Jr. (@Terry_BarberJr) November 1, 2020
We're going to win today! We're gonna cause a scene! Cause Columbus is the WORLD'S GREATEST TEAM!!#NORDECKE #Crew96 #CLBvsPHI pic.twitter.com/GU2AyaemDB
Philadelphia was in control for most of the first half and Columbus struggled to break the Union down or establish a rhythm. During this time, many Crew fans were focused on the benches, as Caleb Porter’s comments to his team kept getting picked up by the on-field microphone.
Porter yells at Harrison a lot during the game. #Crew96— Charles Campisano (@C_Campisano) November 1, 2020
The Crew took the lead in the 37th minute against the run of play as Artur took a shot from outside the penalty box and beat Union keeper Joe Bendik for his second goal of the season. Fans were overjoyed to see the team taking its chances.
ARTY! All #Crew96 needs to do is to get shots on frame and good things will happen!— what the hook gon tweet (@SPHookMania) November 1, 2020
Despite being in the lead, the Crew still struggled in the second half to assert control over the match. The Union kept causing trouble and Mensah, who had an uncharacteristically poor game, conceded a penalty in the 57th minute. Fans were worried that the team was slipping yet again.
Mensah will want to forget this match today. #Crew96— Adam Porter (@heylookaturtle) November 1, 2020
Once again the other team looks like they WANT to win, while #Crew96 are barely going through the motions.— Tobias Roediger (@velk) November 1, 2020
Porter keeps yelling for “patience”, but I think this team needs more urgency in its attack. #Crew96 play best when they play quickly in the final third.— Patrick Klinger (@PatKlinger13) November 1, 2020
But some key subs late in the game made all the difference as Diaz and Nemeth came on and combined for the winning goal in the 84th minute. On his first touch, Nemeth connected with a long lofted ball from Diaz at the far edge of the penalty box and beat the keeper to score his first goal in black and gold. Fans think the Crew might have finally found its super sub.
We finally have a substitute striker who can score?!! #Crew96— Charles Campisano (@C_Campisano) November 1, 2020
The Union kept pressing for a tying goal in the last few minutes, but Eloy Room made some big saves in a Man of the Match performance to keep the Crew ahead and secure the win.
This Room guy is pretty good. Might be a decent signing #Crew96— Jordan Molnar (@JMolnar13) November 1, 2020
Fans were pleasantly surprised to see Columbus pull off the win in an ugly game. Supporters seem cautiously optimistic that the Crew can keep it up, but they know the team still has plenty to work on.
To say that win was desperately needed is a grave understatement. That finish from Nemeth- good LORD that was absolute filth! Gotta keep the momentum up! #Crew96— Alfred J. Sparky (@AlfredJSparky) November 1, 2020
And finally, welcome this Toronto FC fan to life as a Crew supporter.