CHESTER, Pa. -- With a second-half flurry and some help from referee Jose Carlos Rivero, Haris Medunjanin and the Union overcame a one-goal deficit to take down the Colorado Rapids, 2-1, Saturday night at Talen Energy Stadium.
The victory pushes the Union's win streak to a club record four games.
Playing their third match in eight days, the now 4-4-4 Union weren't at their best Saturday against a Rapids team who are sitting dead last in MLS at 2-1-8. But trailing for the first time in four matches after a Caleb Calvert fast-break goal in the 15th minute, the hosts persisted and began to climb back into the game in the second half.
From the right side of Rapids territory, Ilsinho fired a cross into the box that was pounced on by Jay Simpson, who entered for Fafa Picault just three minutes earlier. The forward's shot hit Kortne Ford, who fell and practically hugged the ball, earning the in-box handball call and penalty kick.
C.J. Sapong lined up at the spot and launched a high shot that found goal to tie the game at one. It was Sapong's eighth of the season.
Then things got crazy.
Embellishing an injury in an attempt to waste time, Calvert received a yellow card for dissent and was forced off the field as the trainer was called out. A confused Calvert then reentered the game without permission and received a second yellow and red-card ejection. In protest, former Union striker Conor Casey, now an assistant coach with the Rapids, was ejected in the 70th minute.
Up a man, the Union rolled. Alejandro Bedoya suffered a foul just outside the box, allowing Medunjanin to lace the free kick over the Rapids' defensive wall and inside the right post for the 2-1 Union lead.
Having played Wednesday, the Union shifted their roster to stay fresh. Most notable was the absence of Fabinho, who was replaced in favor of Giliano Wijnaldum, who made his MLS debut. Fabian Herbers also made the start for Chris Pontius on the right side of the midfield but was forced out in the 26th because of lower-body injury.