Columbus, Ohio (April 25, 2015) – Philadelphia Union lost to Columbus Crew SC, 4-1 at MAPFRE Stadium on Saturday night. A solid first 15 minutes for the Union went to no avail, as Crew SC piled on pressure for the last half hour of the half and scored three times with Kei Kamara, Ethan Finlay and Justin Meram all tallying. Eric Ayuk Mbu scored his first career MLS goal in the second half with a powerful header in 64th minute.
“I actually thought the first 15 minutes, our guys came out and played very well,” Union head coach Jim Curtin said. “From that point on, we got embarrassed for the rest of the first half. We came in at halftime and talked about guys showing more commitment, showing me who wants to stay on the field, and I thought we actually pushed the game a little bit and had a decent second half. But credit to Columbus, they’re a great team. I think they’re a top team in our league.”
The first Crew SC goal came from Kamara, who played down a cross from Finlay before finishing in the 21st minute. It was a turnover from the Union that created the chance, and Columbus quickly capitalized.
Finlay added the second goal in the 32nd minute by one-touching a cross past Union goalkeeper John McCarthy. The cross was sent in by Waylon Francis from the left flank, who was credited with an assist.
And just before halftime, Crew SC went up 3-0 when Meram added his third goal of the year in the 44th minute. He streaked down the left-hand side after taking a ball from Emmanuel Pogatetz. He then beat McCarthy with a left-footed shot near the edge of the 6-yard box.
“We’ll look at the tape,” Curtin said. “Any time you give up four goals, there’s some issues for the whole group. We’ll look at it from the forwards all the way to the goalkeeper and evaluate everything in between.”
The Union brought on Ayuk at halftime for Andrew Wenger. They made a double sub in the 61st minute with Conor Casey and Ethan White coming on for Sebastien Le Toux and Brian Carroll, respectively. The changes made a difference as the Union got a goal back in the 64th minute.
C.J. Sapong beat Hernan Grana up the left side and sent in a cross for Ayuk, who confidently rose above Francis and powerfully headed one past Crew SC goalkeeper Steve Clark.
Finlay finished off the scoring in the 73rd minute for the 4-1 final. Kamara sent a through ball in that Finlay was able to latch onto before beating McCarthy to the keeper’s right.
“They’re professionals, so they’re embarrassed,” Curtin said. “It’s unacceptable. But you have to get up off the mat. We want guys that are going to stick with this thing. I learned a lot about a lot of players tonight.”
The Union will next play at home at PPL Park on Saturday, May 2 vs Toronto FC. Kick-off is slated for 4 p.m., broadcast on 6abc.
Columbus Crew SC 4, Philadelphia Union 1
CLB – Kei Kamara (Ethan Finlay, Tony Tchani) 21′
CLB – Ethan Finlay (Waylon Francis) 32′
CLB – Justin Meram (Emmanuel Pogatetz) 44′
PHI – Eric Ayuk Mbu (C.J. Sapong) 64′
CLB – Ethan Finlay (Kei Kamara) 73′
PHI – Maurice Edu (yellow) 24′
PHI – Michael Lahoud (yellow) 46′
UNION STARTING XI
John McCarthy, Fabinho, Steven Vitoria, Maurice Edu ©, Raymon Gaddis, Brian Carroll (Ethan White 61′), Michael Lahoud, Andrew Wenger (Eric Ayuk Mbu HT), Cristian Maidana, Sebastien Le Toux (Conor Casey 61′).
COLUMBUS CREW SC STARTING XI
Steve Clark, Waylon Francis, Emmanuel Pogatetz (Tyson Wahl 56′), Michael Parkhurst ©, Hernan Grana, Justin Meram (Kristinn Steindorsson 66′), Tony Tchani, Mohammed Saeid, Ethan Finlay, Federico Higuain, Kei Kamara (Aaron Schoenfeld 77′).
Chris Penso (referee), Greg Barkey (assistant), Mark Cahen (assistant), Mark Kadlecik (fourth).
Union head coach Jim Curtin
What can you take away from this game?
I actually thought the first fifteen minutes, our guys came out and played very well. From that point on, we got embarrassed for the rest of the first half. Came in at halftime, talked about guys showing more commitment, showing me who wants to stay on the field and be with the group. And I thought we actually pushed the game a little bit, had a decent second half.
But credit to Columbus. They’re a great team, they’re in good form right now, they’re confident. And I think they’re a top team in our league.
How will you prepare for Toronto?
We’ll go look at the tape. We’ll probably have some changes to our eleven for the next game, that’s for sure. Any time you give up four goals, there are some issues… in the whole group. So we’ll look at it from the forwards all the way back to the goalkeeper and we’ll evaluate everything in between and put the best group on the field to get a result against Toronto.
How do you think your team will respond to this loss?
They’re professionals. So they’re embarrassed. We got our asses kicked tonight. It’s unacceptable. But you have to get up off the mat. We want guys that are going to stick with this thing.
I learned a lot about a lot of players tonight, the guys that stuck with it and pushed and the guys who bailed out. You want to be able to look yourself in the mirror after a game and say that you gave everything. That’s what we talked about before the game, and I think we got a lot of answers. Especially in the second half, the guys that stuck with it.
Defender Ray Gaddis
Still processing the thoughts. It’s hard after a loss. First and foremost, a little bit disappointed with the outcome, obviously. But just a tough night.
What positives can you take away from this?
Eric Ayuk. He came on, scored a goal. Did what he’s supposed to do. And the team never let down and never gave up.
What can you build on for the Toronto game?
Just staying together as a team. And playing collectively as a group. It’s hard to say right now. We still need to look at some game film after tonight’s result.
Midfielder Brian Carroll
I thought the guys kept fighting even though we didn’t start well, we had to claw ourselves back. Everyone stuck together and kept on working for one another. It shows me we’re still together and guys care. And we are ready to pick ourselves up and do better going forward.
Was picking it up in the second half the big takeaway from this game?
That, and we don’t want to have this sick feeling at halftime again.
What can you build on for the Toronto game?
Really, we’re just looking for a win any way we can get it. Whether that’s making our own luck or whether that’s luck that happens, we’ll take it. We just want to stick together, work hard, and do what it takes to get a win.