Philadelphia Union win home opener
By Ronaldo de Luna
CHESTER, PA – The Philadelphia Union opened their 2016 season home opener to a crowd of 17,027. Despite the chilling weather a day before the official start of Spring season, Philadelphia Union fans were eager to watch their Philadelphia Union take on the New England Revolution after an impressive road win against the Columbus Crew.
The Philadelphia Union opened the marker in the 18th minute with a clever goal from striker, CJ Sapong. Sapong was near-post just outside the 6-yard line and slid past two defenders to slip a goal past Revolution keeper, Bobby Shuttleworth.
Much to the delight of the Union fans, C.J. Sapong netted his 2nd goal of the match in the 33rd minute. Union defensive midfielder, Warren Creavalle, ran up the left flank losing his mark and crossed the ball to an open Sapong who tapped the ball towards the back of the net.
Any momentum that the Revolution were hoping for ended a minute after Sapong’s 2nd goal when Revolution Defender, Je-Vaughn Watson was sent off after committing a hard foul on Union midfielder, Roland Alberg.
The Union started the 2nd half pressuring the Revolution backline. The Revolution’s 10-man disadvantage was evident as both Chris Tierney and Diego Fagundez saw yellow cards within a minute apart.
Sebastian Le Toux came in the 58th minute and added a boost of offense but was unable to capitalize early on as he missed a penalty in the 78th minute. Le Toux’s persistence paid off in stoppage time when Union midfielder Leo Fernandes sent a cross into the box which was tapped in by Le Toux.
The win put the Union in first place of the Eastern Conference, but was downplayed the man of the match, CJ Sapong
It does not mean anything man. It is three games and there is a lot of soccer to be played.
Union head coach, Jim Curtin, also downplayed his team’s victory
I just talked to them (Union Players), which I don’t always do after a game, but you know they’re not happy with the performance. New England still had a lot of the ball.
With the Union’s 2 game winning streak, Union head coach was also hesistent of sounded the victory bells by saying
We are better now than last year but that is not saying much because last year we were bad.
The Union will hope to extend their win streak on the road against the Chicago Fire.