How many times have you seen a game-winning goal from an indirect free kick?
Yea, it doesn't happen often.
Actually, that was the first time in franchise history the Union has ever scored in a situation like that.
Michael Farfan's set-piece blast put Philadelphia up 2-1, en route to a 3-1 win against 10-man Chivas USA on Friday night.
"You could tell right away that Michael said, 'Hey, I got this'," explained manager John Hackworth, who had earlier been ejected from the game after arguing with referee Jorge Gonzalez. (The idea was) 'If you just put this (ball) to where I can, I'm going to put this into the roof', and he did. He aimed it perfectly. He's a great player that way, he's got excellent technique, so it was a good play by him and obviously a huge point in the game for us."
The whole situation was confusing, and with a weekend to digest the whole thing, philadelphiaunion.com broke it down:
- In the 79th minute, Fabinho (on his Union debut) plays a cross into the box. Goalkeeper Dan Kennedy knocks down the cross and it bounces in front of him.
- Conor Casey and Edgar Mejia both go to ground in a 50/50 challenge for the ball.
- Mejia makes contact with the ball, it squirts back to Kennedy, and he picks it up.
- Referee Jorge Gonzalez blows the whistle for an illegal backpass, which results in an indirect free kick for the Union.
- Protesting the call, left back Josue Soto bumps into Gonzalez, receives his second yellow card, and is sent off.
- Chivas USA makes a quick substitution: Mejia for Burling, who stands six foot five and is a better prospect for defending the net at close range.
- Sebastien Le Toux plays a slight touch for Farfan, who rockets the ball into the roof of the net.
Postgame, both Le Toux and Farfan admitted it was more of a "spur of the moment" play, rather than a practice-designed set piece.
"Not too much preparation, I think it just happened," Farfan said. "We knew they were going to have pretty much their whole team in the goal and I figured the only place it could possibly go in, or had the best chance of going in, was above their heads and under the crossbar. So I did that and fortunately it worked."
Le Toux earned his league-leading ninth assist on the play.
"At the beginning I felt like it was a penalty kick, so I was like, 'well I'm going to take it'," he explained. "Then the assistant referee said it was an indirect freekick. We worked a little bit with Mike on (set pieces), and he's very accurate when he's at close range, so I knew he was ready to go. I asked Amobi (Okugo) if he or Mike wanted to take it, because I know they had been talking about it. They said let's have Michael take it, I asked where he wanted the ball, and that was it. He did the rest."
If you watch the replay, you can see that every single remaining Chivas USA player is standing on the goal line. Michael Farfan put the ball past all ten Goats, plus Sheanon Williams, who was also at the goal mouth.
Farfan drove the ball above 11 total players.
"I was pretty confident," the goal-scorer said. "I just knew they were going to come rushing out, so I just had to put it over their heads. I was just trying to make sure I didn't put it over the bar and that I kept it on target."
"In that one, I think these players are experienced enough where you've gone through that (type of situation) a number of times," Hackworth stated. "You have to get a touch on it. If you can get a touch on it and pick your spot on frame, then that's what you do. Obviously he decided to go over their heads and saw a spot. I was watching after the call was made and Michael was lining it up for 2 minutes, so you could tell he was going there."
What did you think of the events that led to Farfan's finish? Leave a message below.
Contact Union writer Kevin Kinkead at firstname.lastname@example.org