Gyasi Zardes scored in the 53rd minute and Zack Steffen made three saves for his second straight shutout for the Columbus Crew in a 1-0 win against visiting Philadelphia at Mapfre Stadium on Wednesday.
The Crew (5-3-3) have two wins and two ties in their past four games while the road problems continue for the Union (2-5-2), which have lost four of five and were shut out for the fifth time this season.
Philadelphia is 0-4-0 and has been outscored 9-0 in away matches. The Union is also 0-12-4 on the road since May 13, 2017.
Steffen made a brilliant left-handed stop of a C.J. Sapong redirect from six yards in the 90th minute to preserve his fourth shutout of the season and first at home.
Earlier, Zardes took advantage of a couple of mistakes by Union goalkeeper Andre Blake for the 1-0 lead.
Harrison Afful sent a cross from the right flank that Blake couldn’t handle. The ball fell to Cristian Martinez for a low-angle shot from the left side that Blake got a hand on, but Blake couldn’t prevent the rebound from landing at the feet of Zardes for the unmarked tap-in.
Zardes has six goals, five of them at home, and 40 in his MLS career.
After playing to a scoreless draw March 17 at Philadelphia, the goalless drought between the teams nearly ended in the 41st minute for the Crew on the best chance for either side in the first half.
Afful got the ball near the right sideline and cut back before firing a left-footed shot off the far post as Columbus adjusted to playing without midfielder Pedro Santos, who served a red-card suspension.
Both teams play Saturday: Columbus stays home to play Chicago, while the Union complete a three-game trip at Montreal.
—Field Level Media