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Failure To Launch: Union 0-1 Revolution

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The Philadelphia Union squander an opportunity to get themselves back into playoff contention, losing 1-0 to the New England Revolution at PPL Park.

Derik Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

On a night where the Eastern Conference playoff race seemed more open than ever before, the Philadelphia Union failed to assert themselves as real competitors for the sixth and final spot in the postseason. The New England Revolution only needed one goal to take all three points from the Union, and they found it early in the second half.

After taking down a throw-in and drawing Steven Vitoria far out of position in the process, Charlie Davies played in his Uruguayan teammate. As Fagundez dribbled toward the Union's goal, Richie Marquez left more than enough space for the Holy Spirit, practically inviting the New England Revolution forward to shoot. His far-post blast wrong-footed Andre Blake, who was cheating in the other direction.

Chances were few and far between for both teams all night; even the lone goal came outside of the boundaries of the 18-yard box. Diego Fagundez had a shot at putting his team up in the fifth minute, but he first-timed Charlie Davies's cutback high into The River End.

The Union's first real opportunity came in the ninth minute. Thanks to a poor clearing touch from Jeremy Hall, Tranquillo Barnetta found himself with the ball at his feet 15 yards out from goal. His effort went wide as he tried to scrape the ball out from under his body. Cristian Maidana had a chance in the 22nd minute. After playing a ball to Ray Gaddis from the corner, the full back returned the favor, finding his #10 in the 18. The outer side-netting swallowed Maidana's attempt and spat it back out again.

In the 38th minute, Barnetta slid a ball in to Sebastien Le Toux, whose left-footed blast was parried away anxiously by Bobby Shuttleworth. Both teams had a number of attempts at goal in the second half, but only three of their combined 13 shots were destined for goal: Fagundez's winner and two long-range strikes from Lee Nguyen. Despite a trio of attacking substitutions, the Philadelphia Union failed to seriously threaten the Revolution's lead for the final 40 minutes of the game.

As if that weren't enough, Cristian Maidana capped off a sad, quiet night in Chester with a straight red card. Referee Chris Penso sent Maidana to the locker room for spitting at or on Lee Nguyen.

The Union are still just one point out of the final playoff spot in the East, failing to gain ground on the Montreal Impact after they lost to Toronto earlier on Saturday. The Impact still have four games in hand on the Union. The San Jose Earthquakes are next up for the Union, as they'll travel to California to take on Dom Kinnear's surging side next weekend.