Join us for the regular-season finale at Lower.com Field on November 7 vs. Chicago Fire FC
The Crew couldn't carry momentum forward from their Campeones Cup title midweek over Liga MX's Cruz Azul, while the Union continued their chase for a home game in the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs, moving into sole possession of the No. 3 spot in the Eastern Conference with the victory.
The Union opened the scoring on 25 minutes through a free-kick finish from Elliott. The center back lined it up 30 yards from goal and rolled a low driven ball by the Columbus wall and into the bottom left corner, past diving Crew goalkeeper Evan Bush.
That lead was doubled nearly immediately after the second-half kickoff courtesy of Bedoya. Philadelphia's captain capped a counterattack following a giveaway from Columbus, slotting home a first-time finish off Kacper Przybyłko's cross.
Things got interesting in the 64th minute when Wagner got his second yellow card for a foul on Luis Diaz, putting the Union down a man for the rest of the match and setting up a nervy finish.
The Crew had a golden opportunity to cut the lead in half from the penalty spot after Alvas Powell was called for a foul in his own box upon colliding with Gyasi Zardes. But Andre Blake made a huge save to deny Pedro Santos' shot on from 12 yards out, preserving the two-goal lead.
Blake was called into action again in the 80th minute when Darlington Nagbe sent a curling shot that looked destined for the top corner, but the Union backstop went full extension for another huge save.
Flach then put the match to bed just before second-half stoppage time, scorching a shot that deflected off Bush and into the net to round out the scoring for the hosts.
Up next, the Crew have a short layoff for an international break, including the USMNT vs. Costa Rica at Lower.com Field October 13, before returning home, where they have won four straight games in all competitions, to face Inter Miami CF on October 16.