There was no hat trick hero and the goals were more or less gifted by the visitors but the Philadelphia Union’s comeback win over a tricky and dangerous New England Revolution side may have been the best team win of the season yet.
Returning home for the first time since their 7-0 drubbing of DC United, the Union looked different set up in a 4-2-3-1 but were on the front foot to start buzzing up and down the field with a fluidity in their attack that has been reborn in recent games. That they didn’t find an opener in the first half was a surprise but also no fault of the new look, which created a number of long range shots and disrupted the organized Revs defense.
Armed with one of the better attacking duos in the league in Carles Gil and Gustavo Bou, the Revs were a danger throughout and capitalized on some lovely attacking to grab the opener through Bou in the 61st minute. While their attack looked promising, their defense — missing veteran Andrew Farrell for a red card suspension — never completely settled in to the changes once head coach Jim Curtin brought Mikael Uhre and Alejandro Bedoya off the bench.
Uhre had a free header off a corner on an open net to tie the game when Revs keeper Petrovic got caught off his line in no-man’s land in the 75th minute. The assist was No. 10 for Kai Wagner and his fifth in his last three games. Wagner, it should be noted, also did well to limit opportunities for Revs left back DeJuan Jones and force a very right-sided attack for the visitors.
Jack McGlynn, who was solid all night with time on the ball making difficult passes look easy, was able to find Bedoya in the box to set up Daniel Gazdag in front of goal with a header that led to the Henry Kessler penalty.
Kessler, a target for fan ire since his time-wasting nonsense last season, decided to throw Gazdag down instead of trying to play the ball and the Union’s leading goal-scorer added to his tally with his ninth of the season. After going six games without a goal the Hungary international now has penalty kick goals in each of his last two games and three PK goals for the season. Gazdag also served a perfect ball to Uhre that Uhre unfortunately took too heavy a touch on.
Chances fell for both teams the rest of the way, but the standout play of Jakob Glesnes in stoppage time was the difference between three points and one. Gil should’ve added to his assist tally on a couple occasions, especially on a ball to Bou that Bou hit right at Blake’s chest in a bid to go up 2-0, and he created a couple big chances Glesnes was able to clear — one off the line from a Bou header and another out for a corner — that against a lesser defensive team may have had a different result.
The win kept the Union unbeaten at home and has them just two points off the Supporters’ Shield leaders. What did you think of the individual performances last night? Weigh in in our Community Player Ratings poll.