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Philadelphia Union escapes Orlando with narrow 1-0 victory

A VAR approved goal from Daniel Gazdag proved to be the difference in a controversial matchup against Orlando City SC.

MLS: Philadelphia Union at Orlando City SC Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

The Philadelphia Union picked up another victory on Saturday night, this time against Orlando City SC. While the Union didn’t win in any decisive fashion, a goal from Daniel Gazdag was enough to take down the Eastern Conference opponents.

Both sides looked even through the first half, though Philadelphia showed greater opportunity in the final third. A deep shot from Julian Carranza nearly gave the Union an early lead, as did two corner kicks in the last 12 minutes of the half.

Gazdag, as he has throughout the season, gave the Union its first goal from a nice flick on from Jakob Glesnes header. While the play was initially flagged for an offside violation from Gazdag, a VAR review restored the goal for Philly.

While still ahead, Jim Curtin made adjustments to his formation and players on the pitch, who were slowing down as the Florida night continued on. A substation in the 59th minute brought Mikael Uhre off for Cory Burke as the Union moved into a 4-2-3-1. An injured Jose Martinez, who will miss the Union’s next match due to yellow card accumulation, came off for Paxten Aaronson, as Leon Flach took Martinez’s spot at the no. 6.

The Union were still up after ninety minutes, but two stoppages for Cory Burke head injuries, the second of which saw him leave the match for Quinn Sullivan, gave Orlando an extra nine minutes of stoppage time. In the final 20-30 minutes of the match, the Union had become incredibly lackadaisical, and the hosts had plenty of opportunity to even the score.

Orlando nearly had its chance as Alex Chilowicz reviewed a shirt pull by Daniel Gazdag for a penalty kick. However, Chilawicz decided that Gazdag had been fouled, and sent the kick the other direction.

Fierce, yet often lucky defending, defined the remainder of the Union’s play. Despite a number of chances from Orlando, Philadelphia left with a 1-0 victory, their fourth straight win.

The Union returns to action next Saturday, at home against Houston Dynamo FC.