REPORT | FC Cincinnati 1-2 Philadelphia Union
Kacper Przybylko and Paxten Aaronson both got onto the scoresheet as the Philadelphia Union won 2-1 in Cincinnati.
Przybylko had given Philadelphia the lead in first-half stoppage time as his powerful effort from close-range found the top corner. Aaronson doubled the lead shortly after half-time as his header had too much power on it to be kept out.
Former Union midfielder Haris Medunjanin grabbed a goal back for FC Cincinnati, but it only proved to be a consolation.
Brenner forced Matt Freese into action during the opening seconds of the game, but the Union keeper did well to comfortably save the shot.
Sergio Santos came close to giving the Union the lead after just five minutes. He was given the ball inside the area and directed a left-footed shot towards the bottom corner. However, Przemyslaw Tyton did well to get down and push it out for a corner, which came to nothing.
Brenner had a massive opportunity to put the hosts in front. He was played through on goal, and as he ran towards the box, he tried to slot it underneath the oncoming Freese. Fortunately for Philadelphia, it went wide of the post.
Santos' game was ended after just 15 minutes as an ankle knock forced him off. He was replaced by 17-year-old Quinn Sullivan.
In the 31st minute, FC Cincinnati were forced into two substitutions. Gustavo Vallecilla and Yuya Kubo both went down injured and were unable to continue. They were replaced by Geoff Cameron and Isaac Atunga.
Atunga had a great opportunity to score but was denied by Freese. Haris Medunjanin played a fantastic defence-splitting pass that allowed Atunga to run onto the ball. He directed the shot at the goal, but Freese did well to come out quickly to close it down and save the effort.
During first-half stoppage time, Kacper Przybylko gave Philadelphia the lead. Jack McGlynn played an excellent pass to allow Paxten Aaronson to get behind the Cincinnati defence. Aaronson then played a low cross that deflected into the path of Przybylko, who did well to bring the ball under control before smashing a shot into the top corner from close range.
HALF-TIME: FC Cincinnati 0-1 Philadelphia Union
Luciano Acosta was bravely denied by Freese in the 53rd minute. The ball was played across the penalty area and met by Acosta, who used his first touch to get past Nathan Harriel. However, when he went to stab the ball towards the goal, Freese was already there to block the shot, and in the process, was accidentally stamped on.
Aaronson doubled the Philadelphia lead shortly afterwards. Harriel played a great cross towards the edge of the six-yard box, and Aaronson leapt highest. Tyton managed to make contact with the header but could not keep it out.
Freese did brilliantly denying Acosta in the 65th minute. The Cincinnati attacker received the ball on the corner of the box before running in on his left foot. Acosta directed a shot towards the near post, but Freese was equal to it and pushed it behind for a corner.
Medunjanin pulled a goal back for the hosts with nine minutes remaining. Acosta saw his effort blocked, and the ball fell to Medunjanin. The Cincinnati midfielder curled a dinked shot towards the goal, leaving Freese with little chance as it hit the back of the net.
Jesus Bueno replaced Alejandro Bedoya in the 84th minute as the Union captain could not continue through injury.
FULL-TIME: FC Cincinnati 1-2 Philadelphia Union
FC Cincinnati: Przemyslaw Tyton, Edgar Castillo, Tyler Blackett, Vallecilla (Geoff Cameron 31'), Zico Bailey (Chris Duvall 73'), Stanko (Kamohelo Mokotjo 46'), Medunjanin, Alvaro Barreal (Brandon Vazquez 64'), Luciano Acosta, Kubo (Isaac Atanga 31'), Brenner
Unused Substitutes: Cruz, Harris, Vermeer, Ordonez
Philadelphia Union: Freese, Glesnes, Elliott, Findlay, Harriel, Bedoya (Bueno 84'), McGlynn (Real 66'), Flach, Aaronson, Santos (Sullivan 15'), Przybylko
Unused Substitutes: Bendik, Davo, Fontana, Collin