Philadelphia Union dropped a disappointing decision to Houston Dynamo by the final score of 1-0. Former U.S. international Ricardo Clark scored the winning tally off of a header assisted by U.S. international Brad Davis in the 53rd minute.
The Union had a goal by Keon Daniel free kick disallowed due to a dubious refereeing decision wherein referee Mark Kadlecik ruled him offside. “When the ball was played, [Okugo] was judged to be offsides, so therefore he was penalized for being offsides on that play,” Kadlecik said in a statement printed at philadelphiaunion.com. “[Okugo] interfered with the keeper. It didn’t matter if it was physical or not. If they're offsides, they are interfering with play.”
The Union had several other chances which didn't come to fruition, but the free kick disallowed goal was certainly the talking point of the match. Philadelphia enjoyed long stretches of possession throughout the match, yet were unable to find a tally. Fabinho in the midfield made a menace of himself at times, but was largely invisible, as was right winger Danny Cruz. Much of the game was a tussle between central midfields, with the ball bandied about back and forth in a struggle to establish control of the affair.
Despite going down a goal, Union appeared to have the better of the match, from both possession and chances on goal. The best chances for Houston, other than the goal, fell to the feet of Cam Weaver. He hit a shot off the crossbar, and in the same sequence, hit a shot wide of the far post. The first attempt was their only other shot on goal for the match.
However, the Union managed only one shot on target the entire match. The infuriating team goal dearth continues, and it greatly aided in Houston picking up their first ever win in Chester. In a moment that perfectly summarized the post-All Star game Union, Jack McInerney, who has a shocking individual goalless streak, came in as a substitute in the second half and with the ball at his feet 15 feet from goal, dragged his shot wide.
The teams had been 3-3-2 in 8 previous meetings. The immediate impact is that Union and Dynamo swap standings positions, Union dropping from 4th to 6th. Philadelphia has just five matches remaining, while Houston have six. Union next play at Sporting Kansas City on Friday, September 27th. In summation, Dynamo found three points off of a free kick converted, and a free kick admonished. They leave the Union short on answers, and little remaining opportunity to find them.