CINCINNATI, Ohio — The Philadelphia Union’s five-game win streak came to a screeching halt at TQL Stadium Saturday night with a 3-1 loss to FC Cincinnati that could’ve been even more lopsided than the final score.
After having a goal waived off in the first half by video review, FC Cincinnati scored three times in the second half to defeat their familiar rivals for the first time in a send-off game for Haris Medunjanin.
The former Philadelphia Union midfielder was honored with framed FC Cincinnati and Philadelphia Union jerseys before the game and given an ovation when he subbed on in the 85th minute with the score 3-1. The 37-year-old is expected to sign with PEC Zwolle in Netherlands.
The win was also a first for FC Cincinnati head coach Pat Noonan over his former boss Jim Curtin and the Cincinnati attack became the first to put three past Andre Blake since Minnesota United won 3-2 in St. Paul on October 20.
FC Cincinnati had a big chance to open the scoring in the 14th minute when Luciano Acosto was played into the box but Olivier Mbaizo — making his fourth straight start — made a well-time challenge to win the ball and deny the Cincinnati captain.
Cincinnati was on the front foot again when Alvas Powell was found in the box and played a ball to Brenner, who put a 50-50 ball in past Blake but video review showed the ball hit off Brenner’s upper arm instead and the goal was taken off the board.
Cincinnati did take the lead in the 50th minute when Acosta played the ball out to the left to Álvaro Barreal and Brandon Vázquez slotted in his cross first time. Five minutes later Acosto danced his way past a Jose Martinez and slipped a pass through to Brenner in the box who beat Blake to the far post.
Acosta nearly made it 3-0 four minutes later when he was played into the box by Nick Hagglund but his shot glanced the left post. Acosta was involved yet again with another goal when he laid a ball off to Barreal in the box and the Argentine was able to get past Jakob Glesnes and fire the ball past Blake for the third.
Paxten Aaronson was able to pull a goal back when he combined with Cory Burke and got a big deflection to loop his shot into the goal. It was Paxten’s first of the season and his third career goal against Cincinnati. Jack McGlynn had a chance to cut into the lead more with a free kick from a similar spot he scored his first MLS goal from last week but his well-taken kick sailed wide of the right post and the Union comeback fizzled from there.
The Union managed just two shots on goal on the night a week after blowing out Houston Dynamo 6-0 and suffered just their third loss of the season, all on the road. Thanks to a Columbus Crew 2-1 win over NYCFC, their place at the top of the Eastern Conference standings didn’t change.
The Union return home seeking revenge against Chicago Fire next Saturday. Former Union striker Kacper Przybylko had a brace in the Fire’s 3-2 win over Charlotte FC on Saturday.