Philadelphia ended its winless and scoreless runs with an important win against Sporting, with Zac MacMath on form.
Philadelphia struck in the first half through Conor Casey, finally ending a 346-minute stretch of scoreless futility. Danny Cruz did well to work in a low cross from the right, and although Michael Farfan's shot bas blocked, Casey was in position to smash home from close range.
Sporting tried desperately for an equalizer, but the Wizards were held at bay. 22-year-old Union keeper Zac MacMath had a huge night, making five saves and recording his MLS-best 11th shutout of the season.
Philly (11-10-9) now occupies the fifth and final playoff spot in the East, although sixth-placed New England is two points behind with a game in hand. Sporting (14-10-6) remains in second.