By Mark Gallagher
Krisztian Nemeth goal in the 84th minute lifted the Columbus Crew SC to a 2-1 victory over the visiting first-place Union.
The Union (13-4-5, 44 points) had a three-game winning streak and six-match unbeaten streak snapped when Nemeth, who entered in the 83rd minute for the Crew (11-5-5, 38 points), took a pass from Luis Diaz at the far post and scored his first goal of the season in his third game since being signed as a free agent on Oct. 5.
Artur made it 1-0 for Columbus in the 37th minute before Jamiro Monteiro tied it in the 57th on a penalty kick.
Eloy Room made eight saves for the Crew, including one in the 80th minute when he tipped a shot by Kacper Przybylko over the crossbar.
The Union could have clinched the most points in MLS with a win and a Toronto FC loss or tie later Sunday vs. Inter Miami CF.
The Union drew even at 1 when Crew defender Jonathan Mensah had a sloppy challenge on Sergio Santos and shoved him from behind. The penalty kick was Monteiro’s third goal of the season.
Earlier, Artur scored his second goal in 106 MLS career regular season games, but it was his second in four games.
He took a pass from Harrison Afful and struck a low shot from 24 yards that went past Joe Bendik into the left corner.
Bendik got the start because Andre Blake, second in MLS with eight shutouts, fractured his hand in a victory against the Chicago Fire on Wednesday. Bendik had one save.
Columbus fielded its strongest lineup in seven games with midfielders Lucas Zelarayan, Darlington Nagbe and forward Gyasi Zardes playing together for the first time since Oct. 3.
Philly finishes the regular season on Nov. 8 vs. New England.