After a long, difficult period for the Philadelphia Union, the team has finally earned three points with a 3-1 win over Orlando City SC. The win comes as the first in the past four league games for Philly, where they had only earned one point in the previous three matches.
Even more important than the win, the Union demonstrated that they haven’t lost all of the glamour of their early-season success. This afternoon the boys in blue put on a strong attacking performance, highlighted by Sergio Santos and Kacper Przybylko.
Philadelphia did not come out firing in the first half but showed strength early on that lasted through most of the match. Chances for the Union came early, with a strong shot-off target from Leon Flach and a missed opportunity from Jamiro Monteiro.
The Union’s luck finally came together as Kai Wagner found the back of the net at 37’ after some scrappy play inside Orlando’s box. After some WWE tactics from Przybylko and a good pass from Cory Burke, Wagner found himself with a straight shot towards the net and buried the ball, giving the Union a critical lead.
The score remained 1-0 into halftime, and until that point, the Union controlled the match. However, Orlando came out firing in the second half, controlling more of the game and making their presence known for the first time in Subaru Park. Eventually, the lions work paid off, and in the 57’, Ruan bounced the ball off Andre Blake’s far post and into the net to tie the match.
Orlando’s success didn’t last long, four minutes later Monteiro and Olivier Mbaizo forced the ball from Orlando’s end line towards a wide-open Kacper Przybylko in the center of Orlando’s box. Przybylko took no time converting the shot for a goal. This is his first goal in ten games.
Orlando never recovered from Przybylko’s right foot and didn’t put another ball in the net. They came close as the Union was saved by the grace of Andre Blake in the 74’.
The Union closed the game out as time wound down in regulation, as Santos drove into the box and was tripped by Antonio Carlos. The play resulted in a penalty kick for the Union and a red card to Carlos. Just a minute later, Kacper Przybylko converted the penalty kick, earning himself a brace and the Union a win. Five minutes after the penalty kick, the Union left Subaru Park victorious with a 3-1 victory.
The win moves the Union back into playoff position. Currently the U sit in seventh place in the Eastern Conference. As of Sunday, Philadelphia has 35 points to their name as they look to make a late-season run.
The Union’s next match will come on Saturday, September 25 at home against red hot Atlanta United.