Needing a win in their third game in four days, the Philadelphia Union U17s scored twice in the second half and kept Orlando City off the board on Monday to end the first leg of Generation adidas Cup qualifiers on five points.
The Union weathered an early storm caused by mistakes in the back that Orlando was unable to convert into goals. Union goalkeeper Lukas Burns made a few saves early to keep it scoreless and Aboubacar Camara broke open the tie in the latter stages of the game when he was able to create space down the left flank and deliver a perfect cross to Patrick Bohui at the far post for an easy finish.
The goal was the second of the competition for Bohui, who made his Union debut a year ago with the U15s in the fall GA Cup qualifiers in Chester.
“We needed to win today so I’m really glad to have scored,” Bohui said.
The Union held onto the 1-0 lead and controlled possession the rest of the way. Substitute Tianshuo Yang made it 2-0 late with a left-footed shot from the top of the box despite shouts from the bench to pass the ball.
“Tiron (Shatku) played the ball out to T and he just kept running and running, coach shouts pass and he sticks it into the back of the net,” Lewis said.
Going into the opening weekend, Lewis set 10 points as the target so the win on Monday put them halfway to that point.
“I’m pleased; we’ve been in every game, it was 1-0 to New York City regardless of the chances — we had a few chances ourselves — and then 3-3 we won on penalty kicks and then to get a two-zero and a clean sheet is progress,” Lewis said.
They finished the weekend three points back of NYCFC (eight points from three matches) and one point back of New York Red Bulls (six points out of two matches) in the east region and one point behind the two wild card leaders LA Galaxy and Toronto FC. The top two teams in each group and the top two of the remaining teams in all three regions qualify for the Championship Division of the finals in Texas in the spring. The other teams qualify for the Premier Division.
The Union will play New York Red Bulls in their next GA Cup qualifier in North Jersey on December 9 and then take on Atlanta United and D.C. United in the second leg of qualifiers in Atlanta in February.