Not the way the Union wanted to start the season! With hope for a bounce back win, the Philadelphia Union fell flat in a 2-0 loss to Sporting Kansas City on Sunday.
This loss is going to be a tough one for the boys in blue to swallow. Sporting KC took home all three points along with 2 goals and 65.4% of the possession while the Union head to Atlanta without their star midfielder.
After a scoring chance was halted by Ray Gaddis in the 9th minute of the game, the ref awarded Sporting KC with a PK for an Auston Trusty push on Gianluca Busio in the back while running back to help defend. Andre Blake was unable to pull off another miracle save as Ilie Sánchez was able to put the ball just inches off of Blake’s finger tips.
For the next 30 minutes of the match, fair ball controlled was seen on the pitch from both Philadelphia and Kansas City. The Union were able to keep pressure during this time as they strived for an equalizing goal.
In the 39th minute, bad luck fell on Sporting KC as Seth Sinovic conceded a hand ball inside of KC’s 18 yard box. Lined up to take the PK, Marco Fabián struck the ball to the right hand side of Tim Melia. The keeper guessed the right way, stopping the Union’s hope to equalize the game before the half.
A straight red card was given to Marco Fabián in the 60th minute after the referee went to VAR to review a play that looked to be a foul on Fabián. After the review, it was decided that Fabián intentionally stomped on Johnny Russell.
Playing with only 10 men, Jim Curtin waited until the 73rd minute to sub in players to keep intensity on the field. Sergio Santo was brought on for Fafa Picault and Derrick Jones was brought on to replace Warren Creavalle. Warren had a good day on the defensive side of the midfield, and broke up a few plays Sunday afternoon. The final sub was Ilsinho for Cory Burke.
Elliot was another player who had a good game today; he had a few successes on set pieces against Sporting and was able to track back well to defend his own box. But his day was tarnished in the 80th minute when he tried to clear a cross. The ball came across the six-yard box and Jack reached and deflected the ball into his own net. Making the score 2-0 with 10 minutes and stoppage time left to play, it seemed the the Union quit on keeping any pressure on the hosts and all Sporting KC had to do was keep possession of the ball to finish the game.
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