CHESTER, Pa. — The Philadelphia Union welcomed Mexican giants Chivas de Guadalajara to PPL Park on Wednesday night for their third high-profile international friendly of the season. Thanks to a second half strike from Jack McInerney, the Union were able to take the match by a slim 1-0 scoreline.
For the second game in a row, Justin Mapp played the rookie in on goal and McInerney was able to cooly finish to open the scoring in the 48th minute.
Union goalkeeper Brad Knighton was the star of the match, though, as he made a handful of saves in the second half to keep his team out in front.
The first half started fast with both teams showing their willingness to get forward and test the opposing defenses. Chivas were on the front foot in the early stages with the majority of their chances coming through Kansas City Wizards Designated Player Omar Bravo, who will join the MLS club for the 2011 season.
Despite his best efforts and a number of attempts by the Union later on in the half, both sides went into the break scoreless as neither team were able to get by the two goalkeepers.
The match changed in the second half as some early pressure from the Union resulted in the opening tally thanks to a well-placed McInerney shot.
Working the ball through the middle of the pitch, Mapp was able to spot McInerney’s slicing run between the two Chivas center backs and feed him the ball. Without hesitation, the 18-year-old rookie slid the ball under a charging Luis Michel to give the home side the 1-0 advantage.
Chivas bounced back from the goal soon after it happened as they really turned the screws on Philadelphia and pressured their end for the majority of the second 45 minutes.
Deputizing for Chris Seitz was Knighton who stopped shot after shot to help the Union secure the 1-0 victory in front of a spirited crowd at PPL Park.
Philadelphia will welcome the Kansas City Wizards to town on Saturday as they return to MLS action.