Head coach Jim Curtin struck gold with his three substitutes as all three played a critical role in the two late goals that snatched victory from the jaws of defeat against FC Dallas at home on Saturday night.
Alejandro Bedoya was the hero of the night with a fine piece of skill to weave his way through the box, get the ball onto his left foot and fire a shot through the legs of an FC Dallas defender and past a diving Jimmy Mauer for the stoppage time winner.
On the winner, substitute Ilsinho lofted the pass into the box to the feet of Bedoya that started the play after providing a much needed spark off the bench to keep the Dallas defense on its heels in the closing minutes of the game.
Earlier, Jamiro Monteiro’s rocket led to a scramble in the box and a penalty Cory Burke was able to draw on Matt Hedges. Marco Fabian missed his second straight attempt from the spot but Burke was there (perhaps a little too early?) to put home the rebound and draw the game level.
Before Curtin pulled all the right strings with his substitutes, the Union were finding it difficult to break down the FC Dallas defense. On several occasions, there was a lot of ball movement — Kai Wagner was excellent again with his crosses into the box — and a lot of entries into the 18 but not enough action on the final ball to really threaten. Still, there were some decent performances from the 18-year-old Brenden Aaronson again, some jaw-dropping passes from Haris Medunjanin and the captain doing a little bit of everything to lead his team to victory.
Fafa Picault didn’t have the best night and could see his place in the starting lineup taken by Sergio Santos, who had the game-winner for Bethlehem Steel in a comeback win over Swope Park Rangers. Fabian wasn’t on the ball enough and Andre Blake didn’t have much to do after the free kick goal, which he couldn’t do anything but watch go by and hit the back of the net.
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