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Philly sports scene: Union continue winning streak

Image: “Alejandro Bedoya & Greg Garza” by Jamie Smed is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

The Philadelphia Union continued their winning ways on Saturday night as the Boys in Blue defeated F.C Dallas by a score of 2-1. The come-from-behind win was the Union’s third in a row and Philadelphia is now unbeaten in its last four games.

The game got off to a rough start when a soft foul gave F.C Dallas a free kick just outside of the Union penalty box. Much to the disbelief of Union goalkeeper Andrew Blake, Reto Ziegler lifted a left-footed shot overtop of the Union wall and curled it into the net; Blake never had a chance at making the save.

However, Philadelphia did not let the early goal slow down their pace. The Union have been an offensive powerhouse as of late, and they continued to apply pressure on F.C Dallas for the majority of the game.

In the second half, manager Jim Curtin made three decisive substitutions that would prove to be the difference maker in the game. In the 56th minute, after still trailing 1-0, Curtin subbed off Fafa Picault to bring Corey Burke, who had yet to score a goal this season, into the match to provide extra firepower up top. The offensive substitutions continued for the Union as Curtin would then bring on Illsinho in replace of David Accam and switched in Jamiro Monteiro for Raymon Gaddis to give the Union fresh legs for the final stretch of the game.

The move to take out Accam, who had been on a hot streak scoring three goals in his past three games, was a gamble. However, it paid off when in the 82nd minute, Monteiro rifled a long range shot that would be deflected by Dallas keeper Jimmy Mauer, but a subsequent foul on Burke during the play forced a Union penalty kick. Marco Fabian would take the kick that was initially saved, but Burke was able to corral the loose ball and deliver an easy tap-in to make the score 1-1.

After the goal, the crowd at Talen Energy Stadium intensified significantly and the Union poured on the attack. Then, in stoppage time, Illinsho was able to chip a pass into the Dallas penalty box where Union captain Alejandro Bedoya was able to make some slick moves past defenders and slot a left-footed shot far post to send the Sons of Ben section into an absolute frenzy.

Philadelphia would ride out the remaining minutes to keep the score at 2-1 and bring home a well-deserved victory. The Union finished with 18 total shots in the game compared to only three by F.C Dallas, and the win showcased Philadelphia’s never-say-die attitude.

In the post-game interview, Curtin made it clear that this was a big-time statement win for the club, “I think it’s a real sign of the group’s character. I think in past seasons maybe we have a letdown and don’t break them down. These are the kinds of wins that can build real character and strength within a group.”

Andrew Heller is a second-year graduate student majoring in English.

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