Michael Farfan's 57th-minute goal turned out to be the difference as the Philadelphia Union got the better of D.C. United 3-2 on Thursday night at PPL Park. The result kept United out of the MLS playoff places and temporarily sent the Union to second place in the Eastern Conference, one point behind Sporting Kansas City.
As disappointing as the result was for United, they will have even more pressing concerns ahead of Sunday's road match at Columbus. Brandon McDonald will miss Sunday's match after picking up a 71st-minute yellow card, an outcome which will deprive D.C. United of half of their incumbent center-back partnership. In addition, Dwayne De Rosario was subbed off for Santino Quaranta in the 62nd minute after suffering an apparent leg injury.
United will no doubt rue the missed opportunity to pick up crucial points on the road after rallying from an early 2-0 deficit to even the match 2-2 at halftime through goals by De Rosario and Andy Najar. The goal itself seemed to be preventable, as Farfan and Roger Torres played a simple one-two in midfield before Farfan swerved past McDonald, who had come well forward to attempt a tackle, squared himself to shoot at the top of the penalty area, and placed the ball perfectly into the top corner of Bill Hamid's net.
The Black-and-Red had ample opportunities to equalize, but their best chance was in the 64th minute, when Andy Najar cruised unmarked into the box to redirect a left-wing cross from Quaranta. Unfortunately, Najar could only manage to drag the ball just wide of Zac MacMath's goal, a missed chance which perfectly summed up a very frustrating night at the office.