Chester, PA (SportsNetwork.com) - The Columbus Crew lodged a tremendous comeback at PPL Park on Saturday, scoring three goals in the span of four minutes to overturn a two-goal deficit and claim a 3-2 win over the Philadelphia Union.
Second-half goals from Danny Cruz and Andrew Wenger had put the Union in a comfortable position, but Ethan Finlay, Justin Meram and Jairo Arrieta netted a goal apiece to see the Crew collect all three points.
The result sees Philadelphia (9-11-12) crash out of postseason contention as it stays put in eighth place on 39 points, but it brings Columbus (12-10-10) to within touching distance of playoff berth as the club improves to 46 points to move six points clear of the playoff divide.
The Union came close to breaking the deadlock in the opening minute of Saturday's clash as a giveaway from the Crew defense allowed Sebastien Le Toux to deliver a cross to the back post, but Andrew Wenger sent his diving header just inches wide of goal.
Philadelphia continued to apply pressure and nearly went in front in the 23rd minute when a low cross evaded the Crew defense, but Conor Casey was unable to poke the delivery into the empty net.
The Crew's best scoring opportunity came just before the hour mark when a clearance from a corner kick fell kindly to Meram, but he only managed to slam his long-range effort off the crossbar.
Philadelphia eventually grabbed the lead in the 68th minute when Amobi Okugo's header was fired home by Cruz following a corner kick.
The hosts doubled their advantage seven minutes later when Vincent Nogueira's shot came back into play off the post, but Wenger was arriving to turn in the rebound.
The Union appeared to be in cruise control, but the Crew managed to overturn the deficit late in the contest.
Finlay pulled one back in the 78th minute when he turned in Hector Jimenez's cross to the near post.
Justin Meram brought the Crew level one minute later by weaving through a couple of Union defenders and poking a shot past the on-rushing Zac MacMath.
With the hosts stunned, the Crew managed to claim a stunning winner eight minutes from time as Arrieta lashed Tony Tchani's square pass on frame, just out of MacMath's reach.