It finally happened. After hearing about all the ways they couldn’t score for the last few weeks, the Philadelphia Union finally displayed a punch in their attack with a three-goal outburst to earn all three points on the day.
The Union opened up the game with a fiery intensity to attempt to end their bad spell of play. Despite a few chances to start the match, it was D.C. who opened up the scoring early on.
In the 7th minute, off a mishit Jack Elliott clearance, Yamil Asad found Luciano Acosta, who sent through Zoltan Steiber to put the visitors up a goal.
Goal @dcunited! @ZoltanStieber opens his 2018 account. #PHIvDC https://t.co/zLKGJO0Bti— Major League Soccer (@MLS) April 28, 2018
However, before the whistle for the first half, the Union would finally break their goalless streak to level the score at one. After approximately 243 minutes without a goal, Ilsinho brought the Union level. In the 37th minute, Ilsinho launched a shot into the box that redirected off United defender Frederic Brillant and into the back of the net to level the score.
Here's that #DOOP, fam https://t.co/RoEQbc589Z— Philadelphia Union (@PhilaUnion) April 28, 2018
As the second half started, the Union again brought the intensity. From the second half start, the Union understood how important three points was on the day with a long road trip looming.
The intensity on the offensive side of the ball paid off in the 60th minute. Off a Haris Medunjanin cross into the box, captain Alejandra Bedoya headed the ball back across the goal mouth, where CJ Sapong put the ball into the net for the 2-1 lead. It was Sapong’s second goal on the season and first since the season opener.
Snappin' header! @BigAfrika88 makes no mistake about it & @PhilaUnion are in front. #PHIvDC https://t.co/Y6Wnq25cDI— Major League Soccer (@MLS) April 28, 2018
Again, despite being the better side, the Union defense would be broken down against the run of play as second half sub Darren Mattocks made the Union pay. In the 70th minute, Mattocks was wide open on the back post and hit a clean volley off a Zoltan Steiber cross into the back of the net to tie the score.
Quality, @DarrenMattocks #PHIvDC pic.twitter.com/ajZzkkX6fw— Major League Soccer (@MLS) April 28, 2018
It would only be two minutes before the Union got themselves back in front. In the 72nd minute, the much maligned Borek Dockal opened his account to put the Union in front for good when he smashed home his first goal in the Blue and Goal.
“It feels good. It feels like finally.” Borek Dockal said after the match. “We definitely needed to get three points today.”
#Doop! Borek Dockal smashes home his first MLS goal #PHIvDC https://t.co/0ILzN0xb4m— Major League Soccer (@MLS) April 28, 2018
After Dockal’s goal, the Union had little trouble killing off the rest of the game as late substitutes Warren Creavalle and Cory Burke put in a good shift to secure all three points on a beautiful sunny Saturday afternoon. With the win, the Union move up to a tie for 7th place, one point behind sixth place New York Red Bulls.
“I hope this result will bring us the confidence we need,” Dockal added.
The Union will need all the confidence they can muster as they hit the road for five out of their next seven games, including next week’s match at BMO Field versus Toronto FC.