Al-Ittihad moves in the east after cutting the crew
Philadelphia survived the second half in which the Federation fell to a man and faced a penalty to defeat the visiting Columbus Crew 3-0 on Sunday.
And Al-Ittihad moved (11-7-9, 42 points) from the seventh and last place, to a tie with Orlando City in third place in the Eastern Region.
Columbus (9-12-7, 34), the MLS Cup champion, is at risk of missing out on the playoffs. The Crew is tied for ninth with the New York Red Bulls in the East, six points behind Montreal and six games remaining.
Philadelphia is 3-0-1 in the past four games.
Goals by Jack Elliott in the 25th minute and Alex Bedoya in the 46th minute gave Al Ittihad the lead before Kay Wagner was sent off with a second yellow card in the 64th minute, setting up a lifeline for the crew.
And they tried to reduce the difference in the first half in the 76th minute after Alvas Powell committed a mistake by Gyasi Zardes, but Andre Blake saved the penalty kick by Pedro Santos.
Blake, who made three saves in Game 10 for the best draw of his career this season, made a superb save with a curling shot from Darlington Nagby in the 80th minute.
Al-Ittihad put the match away with a Leon Flach goal in the 89th minute, his first in 27 games in the American League, when his shot passed through the hands of Evan Bosch, while he was playing with the injured Eloy Room.
It was a tough match for Bush.
Elliott’s goal, the second of the season for the central defender, was either very lucky or well-placed. Lined up from 30 yards, the bullet went around the wall to the near center where it bounced twice before escaping the bush.
“I can’t say it was a great free kick,” Etihad coach Jim Curtin said in a televised broadcast.
The crew dug a hole deeper just 30 seconds into the second half when Bedoya scored his second goal of the season with a hit and run with Kacper Przybylko.
– Media at the domain level