Chester, PA (SportsNetwork.com) - After having their playoff hopes dashed in devastating fashion, the Philadelphia Union will aim for a bounce-back performance on Saturday against Sporting Kansas City at PPL Park.
Heading into last week���s match against the Columbus Crew, Philadelphia needed to win each of its last three games and get some help in order to keep their playoff dreams alive.
Things got off to a positive start for Jim Curtin���s side as Danny Cruz gave the Union the lead in the 69th minute and Andrew Wenger doubled the advantage in the 75th minute.
It looked as if the Union were going to come away with a much-needed win, but then the bottom fell out in the final 10 minutes. Ethan 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 Jairo Arrieta lashed Tony Tchani's square pass on frame, just out of MacMath's reach.
Curtin didn't mince words about his team���s inability to close games out.
"We didn't have a killer instinct to kill off the game," Curtin said. "We lack that. We've lacked that this year." "To be honest, we're not a playoff team, That's clear. Over the course of 32 games now, we've come up short."
Sporting Kansas City, meanwhile, will have an opportunity to defend its MLS Cup crown after clinching a playoff berth with a 2-0 win over the Chicago Fire last time out.
Sporting Kansas City opened the scoring 10 minutes from time when Graham Zusi fired home a well-struck left-footed shot after he cut into the middle from the right wing.
Sanna Nyassi came off the bench for the Fire and nearly equalized three minutes later, but his volley sailed just over the crossbar.
Dominic Dwyer then killed the game off in stoppage time by heading home a cross from Zusi, putting Sporting into the postseason.
"I thought we played well. I thought we were good tonight and I thought some things happened that needed to happen," said Sporting KC manager Peter Vermes. "It was a good performance. We achieved our goal of getting where we needed to be and now we need to get ourselves healthy so when the playoffs start we are ready to go."
This will be the third and final meeting between the sides this season. Philadelphia claimed a 2-1 win and a 1-1 draw at Sporting Park in the previous two matches.