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Recap: New England Revolution Dominate The Philadelphia Union 2-0 In Emotional Game

In the New England Revolution's first home game since the bombings that happened at this year's Boston Marathon, the Philadelphia Union dropped three points in an emotional game that saw the home team thoroughly dominate for most of the 90 minutes.


First Half

Three early chances left the Revolution wanting, as the New England club botched a couple of prime opportunities to go up at least a goal in the first 20 or so minutes. A relatively early attempt came off of slightly deflected cross into the Union six, which fell to Kelyn Rowe, but his shot went over the net.

The second goal scoring opportunity was around the 20th minute, when the flow of play brought the Revolution forward into Union territory and into a dangerous attacking position. The ball was slipped into the box and it threatened the Union goal, but, once again, the shot was lacking as Zac MacMath watched Kalifa Cisse's left footed attempt go past the post.

Only a few minutes later, MacMath was forced into a kick save on New England wonderkid Diego Fagundez, who beat his marker and had a shot one-on-one with Philadelphia's goalkeeper. MacMath followed up his save with another on a header off of the ensuing corner kick.

At the 30th minute, Revolution fans held up signs with the number 30 on them and chanted the name of New England player Kevin Alston, who is undergoing treatment for chronic myelogenous leukemia. In addition, the Revolution had given out 7000 tickets to local first responders and other people affected by the Boston Marathon bombings, and also had a pre-game moment of silence.

The Union had some attacking play of their own, but it was usually disjointed and came in bouts of play that were against the flow of the game. Philadelphia found little room to work with near or within the opposing 18, which has been uncharacteristic of the squad since Conor Casey and Jack McInerney first began to partner up top.

McInerney curled an interesting shot toward the far post, but sent it wide and did not trouble New England goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth on the play. Much later, Michael Farfan got some room in the Revolution box after McInerney misplayed a cross and he forced Shuttleworth to put it over the bar.

Danny Cruz had the best chance of the first half for either team from a pretty through ball by Farfan, but Shuttleworth met the midfielder in the center of the box and held onto his shot. One minute of stoppage time was added onto the first half and neither team was able to muster anything in the short time slot.

New England controlled most of the first half, finishing it with 57 percent of the possession against Philadelphia. There was no scoring for either team, but the Revolution did dominate the opening half of play.

Second Half

Lee Nguyen took a free kick well to begin the attack in the second half, albeit came in the 52nd minute of the game. Nguyen didn't have enough power behind his kick, but the shot dipped enough toward MacMath's right that it forced him into a somewhat tough save.

The Union had little success for quite some time in the second half, as McInerney was unable to control a pass that went over the top of the Revolution defense and not much else happened except for a few botched chances at threatening Shuttleworth's goal.

Head coach John Hackworth chose to remove Casey before the 60th minute and sent on Sebastien Le Toux, who had not yet performed well for the Union in 2013.

Then the Revolution broke through in the 61st minute through Fagundez. Nguyen fed Rowe on the inner part of the left side edge of the 18 and he sent a low cross into the center of the box to Fagundez, who put it past MacMath for his first goal of the year.

Saer Sene came onto the field right after the goal for his first appearance against the Union since his dominate performance against Philadelphia early in 2012. Sene missed most of last year, and the beginning of this season, with a left anterior cruciate ligament tear.

Hackworth called Antoine Hoppenot into the game in favor of Cruz in the 66th minute, partnering him up front with McInerney and Le Toux. The head coach also tactically had Farfan move forward, leaving a lot of space open over the central part of the midfield.

The Union finally got themselves into a scoring position in the 70th minute, when some sloppy play from both sides allowed Hoppenot to race down the right side of the field and he sent a cross into the box to McInerney. Major League Soccer's goal scoring leader was able to control the cross, which was behind him, but his shot was blocked by New England's defense.

On the ensuing run of play, the Revolution doubled their lead to 2-0. Nguyen scored on an almost open net because MacMath was forced out to stop a shot by Sene and the rebound popped out to a well positioned Nguyen.

Philadelphia would not recover from the two goal deficit.

Rowe ripped a long range effort in the 76th minute after a couple of tries by the Union on long balls over the defense that never materialized.

Some creativity was introduced into the Union offense when Kleberson entered into the game in the 77th minute. Kleberson was noticeably higher in position than Keon Daniel, who the World Cup winner replaced at central attacking midfielder.

Kleberson took a shot at goal in the 79th minute, but it, like most other tries by the Union, was no where near the net.

The flow of play would move back into the Revolution's favor shortly thereafter. MacMath was forced into another save in the 80th minute when Sene attempted a curler, but the goalkeeper parried it. Jeff Parke had to step in front of a Dimitry Imbango shot a minute later.

New England easily moved about in the midfield despite the inclusion of Kleberson and it was evident in the rash decisions made by the Brazilian - he received a caution in the 82nd minute - and the backline.

McInerney responded for the Union by making his way into the New England box and forcing Shuttleworth into full extension to turn the shot out of play. Philadelphia, again, could not convert on a corner or set piece.

Not much occurred for either club as the clock counted up to 90 minutes and the three minutes of stoppage time added on were utilized by New England for time wasting to try to close out their win. Williams had a cross and a long throw go into the box without any reward, with the latter flicked on to Le Toux, only to have the forward fail to control the ball.

There was a frantic moment in the 93rd minute when Hoppenot shot the ball and Shuttleworth saved it. The Union sent it back in through McInerney, but no one was around to grab onto it.

All the while, Andrew Farrell was laying on the ground by the Union box after a strong tackle by Michael Farfan appeared to only catch his opponent, not the ball. Referee Baldomero Toledo chose to not make a call or to stop play to have Farrell leave the field until after the Revolution brought the ball back down the field.

Once Farrell was helped off of the field of play, Toledo restarted the game and the Union had one more failed attack before the referee blew his whistle for full time. New England doubled its goals scored on the season and took a full three points away from the Union, who had won the last three match ups between the two sides.