If the Columbus Crew make the playoffs by a point or two, they may have to thank tonight's assistant referee. He kept the flag down when Milovan Mirosevic was clearly offside in the 87th minute and allowed the Crew to net the winning goal in a 3-2 win over the Philadelphia Union.
The win is huge for Columbus, who are still outside of a playoff place, but kept pace on a day where everyone in the race got a result. They are on 48 points, one behind Houston for the final playoff spot with three matches left in the season.
Columbus shouldn't have needed Mirosevic's late goal after the way Jairo Arrieta played in the first half. First he chested down a cross from Sebastian Miranda then finished neatly to put the Crew in front. Later on, he took advantage of a mistake by Amobi Okugo to get onto a Andy Gruenebaum goal kick then ripped a shot past Zac MacMath.
The Crew were 2-0 up at the break and sitting pretty, but they took their foot off of the gas pedal in the second half and the Union made them pay. Danny Mwanga converted a penalty then Jack McInerney came off the bench to equalize in the 86th minute to seemingly earn Philadelphia a point.
But there was still time left, only the assistant referee didn't know it. He was asleep as Josh Williams' pass bounced around before finding an offside Mirosevic, who bet MacMath to get the Crew a very valuable three points.