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Union blanks San Jose to stay unbeaten to start season

Burke and Gazdag each scored in a convincing 2-0 win over the Earthquakes

Kai Wagner and Daniel Gazdag celebrates Gazdag’s penalty kick goal in the second half vs the San Jose Earthquakes on March 12, 2022
Jack Verdeur

CHESTER, PA — Cory Burke scored in the first half and Daniel Gazdag chipped in a penalty kick in the second half to lead the Philadelphia Union to a 2-0 win over San Jose Earthquakes on a chilly Saturday night.

Burke was the beneficiary of a great run from Sergio Santos, who beat his man to the end line and after dancing toward goal squared a ball to a wide open Burke for the easy tap-in in the 23rd minute.

The play was started by a long goal kick from Andre Blake and Leon Flach deflected an attempted clearance into the path of a streaking Santos, who was a frequent nemesis to the visitors from the West Coast on a night when Mikael Uhre was scratched from the lineup with a quad injury.

Santos had multiple chances to get a goal of his own but Quakes goalkeeper JT Marcinkowski was up to the task. Santos was played in by Daniel Gazdag in the 30th minute but his shot missed the goal and got on the end of another fine pass from Alejandro Bedoya in the 56th minute that Marcincowksi did well to deny. Marcinkowski also made a great save in the first half to deny Nathan Harriel a headed shot off a corner kick.

The second goal did finally come for the Union after a handball was whistled on Jackson Yueill in the box and Gazdag beat Marcinkowski with a cheeky chip.

Up two goals, the Union were able to continue to keep the Earthquakes at bay, limiting them to only one shot on goal on the night — a long range shot right at Blake — and keep them to a 0.3 in expected goals.

The Union finished with a 3.3 expected goals on the night, more than double their expected goals against Minnesota United (1.3) and CF Montreal (1.5) the first two games of the season.

The win was the 100th in MLS play for head coach Jim Curtin.