Chester, Pa. (September 1, 2010) – Philadelphia Union earned their second consecutive win at PPL Park against a high-profile international opponent, edging Chivas de Guadalajara 1-0 Wednesday night. Second-half substitute Jack McInerney scored the match’s lone goal, with Justin Mapp registering an assist to duplicate the combination that helped Philadelphia equalize in New England Saturday.
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Both sides came out with plenty of pace and physicality, but Guadalajara created the majority of the scoring chances through the first 20 minutes. Omar Bravo nearly capitalized on a giveaway in the back just three minutes in, but Kansas City’s Designated Player on loan to Chivas unleashed a scissor kick that fell just over the crossbar.
Chivas had another golden opportunity to strike first, but goalkeeper Brad Knighton stood in the way of a go-ahead tally for the visitors. Miguel Ponce took advantage of space outside of the area to unleash a blast from distance in the 20th minute, but the Union backup was able to leave his feet and get just enough of a touch to punch the attempt over the bar.
Philadelphia’s first promising scoring chance came in the 27th minute when Nick Zimmerman sent a low cross into the box from the right corner, but goalkeeper Luis Michel stepped off his line to smother the service.
While both sides went into the break scoreless, the deadlock didn’t last long. Philadelphia substituted their entire starting lineup other than Knighton and defender Michael Orozco Fiscal, and the changes immediately paid dividends.
In the 48th minute, Mapp took advantage of space in the middle of the pitch, dribbling through the heart of Chivas’ midfield and sliding a through ball to a streaking McInerney. The Union rookie calmly ran onto the ball and slotted the go-ahead tally past substitute ‘keeper Sergio Arias for a 1-0 lead.
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Chivas was gifted a golden opportunity to equalize in the 70th minute when Knighton was caught off his line, but Michel Vasquez’s lob missed the net wide left.
Guadalajara continued applying pressure in Philadelphia’s territory during the ensuing five minutes, but a string of three acrobatic saves from Knighton to stop long-distance rifles preserved the home side’s 1-0 advantage.
The Union were able to hold onto the lead despite continued late pressure from Guadalajara, managing to come out on top despite the absences of leading scorer Sebastien Le Toux and starting striker Alejandro Moreno, both of whom were being rested. Philadelphia will return to action this Saturday at home, with the Kansas City Wizards coming to PPL Park for a 3:30pm showdown.
PHI – Jack McInerney (Justin Mapp) 48’