Sergio Santos was at the heart of all of the action as Philadelphia Union defeated DC United 2-1 at Subaru Park.
Santos scored, assisted and gave away a penalty as the Union defeated DC for the second time this season.
The Brazilian had given the Union the lead after just 11 minutes. Following a nice move, Daniel Gazdag managed to put him through on goal. Santos had no issues placing it past Bill Hamid in the United goal.
Santos was at the heart of the action once again as he fouled Yordy Reyna inside the box. The referee awarded a penalty, and Yamil Asad slotted the resulting spot-kick into the bottom corner.
VAR ruled out a potential Union penalty and goal, but there was no ruling out Kacper Przybylko's goal in the final ten minutes. A long ball forward allowed Santos space in behind the DC defence. He did brilliantly working his way beyond the defender before laying it off to Przybylko to slot into the back of the net.
Jim Curtin made two enforced changes to his starting XI following the draw in New York. Joe Bendik and Sergio Santos came into the lineup in place of the suspended Matt Freese and Jamiro Monteiro. Ilsinho, despite a positive week of training, was not fit enough for the bench.
DC United came close to the first goal in the opening seconds. Jack Elliott's pass was a wayward one, and it went straight to a DC man. The visitor's forward cut the ball across the goal, but Adrien Perez could not get the crucial touch as he slid towards it at the back post.
Nigel Robertha had a great chance just moments later as DC continued to dominate the opening stages. Robertha managed to get into the area and have a shot at goal unchallenged. Fortunately for the Union, Jack Elliott was on hand to provide a vital block.
Sergio Santos gave the Union the lead in the 11th minute. A great counter-attack was started by smart footwork from Olivier Mbaizo. Alejandro Bedoya's pass forward was touched on by Daniel Gazdag into the path of Santos. The Brazilian forward got into the area and slotted it past Bill Hamid into the back of the net.
Santos almost made it two but was denied by a brilliant save from Hamid. Mbaizo's cross was pinpoint, and Santos was able to get a header away unchallenged. His effort from point-blank range looked destined for the back of the net, but Hamid did brilliantly to claw the ball away from danger.
In the 38th minute, Joe Bendik pulled off a magnificent save to keep the scores level. Yamil Asad managed to get a free shot inside the area, which seemed likely to end up in the back of the net. Bendik somehow got a strong hand on the ball to push it onto the crossbar as the Union had a lucky escape.
Benidk was called into action again a few minutes later, this time denying Julian Gressel. Gressel decided to shoot from distance, and his effort was a low drilled one towards the bottom corner. Bendik did well to get down to it and push it away from danger.