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Luke Martelli caps comeback with late winner for Philadelphia Union U17s over Bethesda SC

The U17s overcame a two-goal deficit in the second half to beat Bethesda SC 4-3 on Saturday in Rockville, Md.

After suffering a 3-0 loss on the road to DC United to kick off the second half of the MLS Next season, the Philadelphia Union U17 team found themselves in a hole again down 3-1 in the second half to Bethesda SC on Saturday.

The Union fell behind 2-0 in the first half but were able to pull one back before halftime when Logan Oliver headed in a Luke Martelli free kick. But Bethesda would regain the lead on a golazo from distance in the second half to make it 3-1.

Three substitutes off the bench — Noe Uwimana, Marcos Zambrano and Gael Medrano — sparked the comeback. Noe Uwimana’s through ball to Marcos Zambrano led to a penalty Alex Perez converted to cut the lead to 3-2 and Zambrano’s pass through traffic into the box to Medrano set up the equalizer.

Medrano’s pass out to the left flank to Martelli enabled the left back to isolate his defender and after a few moves Martelli was able to charge into the box, switch the ball to his right foot and curl in a shot past the outstretched hands of the Bethesda keeper.

The dramatic comeback win for the U17s capped off a full day of matches at Wootten High School in Rockville, Md. All four games were streamed by the Union. The U13s lost 2-1 while the U14s picked up a 2-1 win and the U15s won 3-1.

It was a left back in the U15 game picking out the winner. Lamonte King was able to pounce on a ball in the box and shoot it in past the keeper to break a 1-1 tie. Stefan Chirila had the other two goals for the Union. He opened the scoring with a free kick goal in the first half and then was on the receiving end of a lovely ball through traffic from Jamir Johnson for the finish at the far post to make it 3-1 in the second half.

The U17 and U15 teams return to the field today (February 27) to take on PA Classics at The Proving Grounds in Conshohocken. The U17s play at 4 p.m., followed by the U15s at 6 p.m. on Field 1.