Columbus Crew SC played to a 1-1 draw against the Philadelphia Union in Group Stage play at the IMG Suncoast Pro Classic, but fell in the necessary penalty shootout to decide the group winner, 5-3. The contest took place at IMG Academy Field on Wednesday evening, with Justin Meram scoring in regulation for the Black & Gold.
In heavy fog, Philadelphia took the lead in the 27th minute when Fernando Aristeguieta headed following a Sheanon Williams cross. In the second half, Meram stole the ball from Michael Lahoud and was in on a breakaway against Rais Mbolhi, chipping over the Algerian FIFA World Cup goalkeeper to level the match. Shortly after, in the 72nd minute, Matt Lampson made a save on Conor Casey's chipped penalty attempt to keep the contest level.
The contest ended at 1-1, and a penalty shootout was held to determine the group winner. Tyson Wahl, Aaron Schoenfeld and Ben Speas converted for Columbus, but the Union were able to knock all five penalties in, winning the match and the group.
The Black & Gold next play on Saturday at 5:00 p.m. ET in the third-place match of the inaugural IMG Suncoast Pro Classic.
AUDIO: Gregg Berhalter Post-Match
Columbus Crew SC 1 (3) – Philadelphia Union 1 (5)
Wednesday, February 25, 2015
Venue: IMG Academy Stadium, Bradenton, Florida
Referee: Fotis Bazakos
Assistants: Richard Gamache, Abdul Kuttaineh
Weather: 73 degrees and cloudy
PHI – Fernando Aristeguieta (Sheanon Williams) 27'
CLB – Justin Meram (unassisted) 68'
PHI – Fabinho (goal)
CLB – Tyson Wahl (goal)
PHI – Fred (goal)
CLB – Aaron Schoenfeld (goal)
PHI – Brian Carroll (goal)
CLB – Justin Meram (saved)
PHI – Conor Casey (goal)
CLB – Ben Speas (goal)
PHI – Michael Lahoud (goal)
PHI – Sheanon Williams (yellow card) 39'
CRC – Kristinn Steindorsson (yellow card) 39'
Columbus Crew SC: Steve Clark (Matt Lampson 46'); Hector Jimenez (Chad Barson 46'), Michael Parkhurst © (Sergio Campbell** 46'), Emanuel Pogatetz (Tyson Wahl 46'), Waylon Francis (Chris Klute 46'); Wil Trapp (Mohammed Saeid 46'), Tony Tchani (Kevan George 46'); Ethan Finlay (Ben Speas 46'), Federico Higuain (Ben Swanson 46') (Sagi Lev-Ari** 73'), Kristinn Steindorsson (Justin Meram 46'); Kei Kamara (Aaron Schoenfeld 46')
**indicates un-signed MLS SuperDraft selection
Philadelphia Union: Rais Mbolhi; Raymon Gaddis (Raymond Lee 46'), Steven Vitoria (Richie Marquez 46'), Ethan White (Jimmy McLaughlin 60'), Sheanon Williams (Fabinho 46'); Maurice Edu © (Michael Lahoud 46'); Zach Pfeffer (Eric Ayuk 46'), Cristian Maidana (Fred 46'), Sebastien Le Toux (Danny Cruz 46') (Brian Carroll 58'); C.J. Sapong (Dzenan Catic 46'), Fernando Aristeguieta (Conor Casey 46')