Photo Cred: Philadelphia Union
With the loss to Club America now in the rear view mirror, the Union continued their MLS campaign by welcoming NYCFC (and Kevin Durant) to Subaru Park.
Wagner, Elliot, Glesnes, Powell
Flach, Martinez, Bedoya, Gazdag
Tinnerholm, Chanot, Callens, Amundsen
Medina, Rodriguez, Tajouri-Shradi
First Half Summary
The Union came out with great energy to start the half, especially from the interim right back Alvas Powell, who started over Mbaizo. He had a solid tackle early, and it seems that his hamstring is back at full strength.
NYCFC had a near chance within the first ten minutes, as a shot from inside the box rattled off the post. Ultimately, the play was ruled offside, but it's too close for comfort for Philly. This is a team who continues to struggle with keeping opponents off the board early.
The clubs remained scoreless after 15 minutes, and Philly was then granted with several opportunities off set pieces. Wagner's crosses were decent, but there was not a strong chance from Philly to score in these moments.
It almost seemed like those missed chances would burn the Union, as NYCFC had a point blank range just shortly after. A ball was played into the box, where it found the right foot of Rodriguez. His shot amazingly went wide of the net, and Powell, who had a strong half defensively, completely lost his man. Huge sigh of relief there from Chester.
Philly had their own golden moment from Sergio Santos. He found himself at the top corner of the box, where his strong left footed shot forced Johnson into a diving save. Oh so close there.
Both clubs continued to put pressure on the opposing defenses, with NYCFC being more creative in the final third. Regardless, Philly dodged the bullets, and NYCFC kept the home team off the board. A couple of bookings did come, however, from New York. Medina brought down Kai in the 25th minute, while Sands bear-hugged Santos to the ground in the 36th. Each player was shown a yellow card.
Philly ended the half with a scoring chance. Kacper sprinted toward a leading ball, but he wasn't quick enough to beat his defender. The ball was kicked out for a corner, which was easily sent away for a clearance. The halftime whistle was heard, and both teams entered the locker room without a goal.
Second Half Summary
Union earned a corner kick in the 47th minute, but once again they were unable to get a good shot at net. It's one of those moments where you are praying that NYCFC doesn't capitalize on those missed chances.
After about 5 minutes of some positive offense from the Union, NYCFC had another brilliant chance at goal. A set piece was sent to the top of the box, where a strong strike wildly ricocheted off a Union defender. It very well could have been sent passed Blake, but Philly had some fortune, as it only went out for a corner. Philly made their defensive stop, and NYCFC stayed out of the goal.
Union made their first two subs in the 62nd minute. Miro (who was back for the first time in a few matches) replaced Gazdag, while Burke relieved Kacper. Smart move by Jim, as both players were, at times, invisible in the final third.
The fresh legs gave Philly some life, and that energy turned into the first goal for Alejandro Bedoya. Kai sent a right-footed cross into the box, which was initially aimed toward a leaping Santos. The defense completely forgot about Ale, who sprinted into the box and confidently headed the ball passed Johnson. It was a great moment for the Captain, who has had an up and down season thus far.
NYCFC, now fighting to get a road point, brought in three subs in the 78th minute. Jasson, Magno, and Keaton replaced Sands, Medina, and Castellanos, respectively.
Another huge moment missed from the away team just moments after the fresh legs came onto the pitch. Elliott earned a yellow close to midfield, and the free kick eventually found Thiago in the box. His shot just barely went wide of a diving Blake, who may not have been able to keep that one out.
An extremely dangerous chance came in the 84th minute for NYCFC. Bedoya went in hard for a tackle toward the top of the box, and NYCFC was given a free kick only 20 yards out. Fortunately, Philly was able to clear the ball away, and Chester let out another huge sigh of relief. After Flach went down with a bit of a knock, Sullivan came on for Santos.
A scary moment for Philly came in the 88th minute. Powell went down, and he appeared to have a slight limp as he walked off the pitch. We know Alvas just had a hamstring injury, so we hope that he is good to go after tonight. Findlay then replaced the Jamaican right back, while Ilsinho came on for the Captain.
Four minutes of stoppage time was shown by the sideline official, and Philly hung on to their 1-0 lead. A bit of an unfortunate sight though in the final moments, as Brujo was seen grabbing his left hamstring. Hopefully nothing more than a stinger.
Next up, Philly faces Montreal on Saturday evening. DOOP!
- Mike Barrera (mbarrera1323)