Recap: Union top SKC 4-0 for Hackworth's first win
CHESTER, Pa. -- Behind two goals from Jack McInerney followed by insurance tallies from Lionard Pajoy and Antoine Hoppenot, the Union earned their first points of the John Hackworth era, topping Sporting KC 4-0 Saturday night at PPL Park. McInerney struck on loose balls in the first and 43rd minutes, while Pajoy and Hoppenot added second-half goals to lift Philadelphia to their first league win in over two months.
It was a dream start for the Union, who entered the game averaging an MLS-worst 0.67 goals per game. Moments into the contest, Ray Gaddis whipped a dangerous cross to the far post where a crashing Pajoy had too tight of an angle to finish but managed to keep the ball alive. Pajoy's touch put the ball just a few yards in front of Jimmy Nielsen's goal, and McInerney beat the Kansas City goalkeeper to the ball to bury a shot into the top of the net.
Coming off a midweek game in Seattle, Sporting Kansas City gradually overcame the slow start, ultimately winning the first half possession battle. But despite seeing more of the ball in the opening stanza, Kansas City managed only one shot on goal, a soft header by Kamara that floated into the arms of Zac MacMath. Sporting KC threatened in the 27th minute, but Bunbary's header from a Myers cross sailed over the bar.
Minutes before halftime, McInerney struck again. Freddy Adu put a free kick into the danger area, where a lunging Carlos Valdes deflected the ball on goal. Nielsen made the initial save, but McInerney was there to put in the rebound for a 2-0 advantage.
McInerney, who came off in a 72nd minute substitution, exited the field to a booming ovation from 18,207 strong at PPL Park.
The Union added an insurance goal in the 81st minute on a Pajoy penalty kick. Antoine Hoppenot sprung free, beat his man with a cut back move and drew the foul in the box. Pajoy sent Nielsen diving in the wrong direction and buried his spot kick to put the Union up 3-0.
Hoppenot was rewarded for his efforts with a goal of his own in the 87th minute, when a ball over the top sent the striker in behind the Sporting Kansas City back line. Hoppenot, who missed a previous chip attempt high, lofted the ball over Nielsen for the fourth Union goal and the first of his MLS career.
For the Union, it was the second straight game shutting down one of the Eastern Conference's most explosive attacks. This time, however, a stalwart defensive performance held for 90 minutes and was accompanied by an offensive explosion.
Philadelphia move to 3-8-2 with 11 points on the season. The club increased their goal total from eight to 12, while Zac MacMath logged his fourth shutout in MLS play. The Union return to action on Tuesday in a U.S. Open Cup quarterfinal match against the Harrisburg City Islanders at PPL Park.
WATCH: Full match highlights